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WATCH YOUR BACK
You rely on your spine – so take care of it!
Your spine protects a vital part of your body – the spinal cord, which delivers the messages from your brain to your body. Almost every day you carry your schoolbag, sit for hours at your desk, and work or play at a computer. You might play sports too. Are you sure you’re protecting your spine?
You’re not a superhero!
Sad, but true. Lifting, carrying, sitting for too long (particularly sitting slumped forward) and sporting injuries can all affect the proper movement of your spine if you don’t actively protect it. You might not notice at first, but after weeks, months or even years, you could start getting back pain, headaches and other problems that stop you leading a healthy life.
You don’t want to end up like this!
You can make sure this doesn’t happen to you by following the six golden rules on this page. Make sure that your parents and teachers read them too, so that they can help you to keep fit and healthy. You can tell them that a third of adults treated by chiropractors have pain that started then they were children.
Chiropractors can help too
What if you’ve already got pain in your back, neck or head? Your local chiropractor has been trained to find out the cause of your pain and use his/her hands to make manipulations to your spine that can make you feel better. Chiropractic is a treatment that can take the strain off your spine without using painkillers or other drugs. People of all ages get treated by chiropractors – including lots of parents and teachers!
According to chiropractors the common causes of joint and back pain amongst school children are:
- Lack of exercise
- Bad posture
- Computer games
- Ill-fitting desks
- Using a PC
Bag it up
If you have to carry a bag to school, a rucksack is the best option as long as you carry it over both shoulders, and the straps are adjusted so that the bag is held close to your back.
Keep it light
Make sure you’re not carrying any unnecessary excess weight – check that you are only carrying essential items.
Best foot forward
Make sure you’re wearing good soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip on the ground to make carrying a heavy bag easier.
Lack of exercise is your worst enemy. Take regular and frequent exercise – the fitter you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself. It doesn’t have to be at David Beckham levels – just something that you enjoy, uses all your joints and increases your heartbeats.
Staying still for a long time is bad for your spine. Limit yourself to 40 minutes on the computer or in front of the TV before you get up and do something else for a while.
Make sure your computer or games console is set up so that you’re sitting comfortably and your spine is supported. You may not realise that the position you’re sitting in is painful when you’re concentrating on what you’re doing.