For this week’s #WellnessWednesday post, we stopped by Dr. Jamie Bassel’s office, New York City Chiropractic, to ask him a few questions.
Q: What kind of tips can you offer to take care of your spine?
Jamie H. Bassel DC: If you know you will be standing for a long time, try wearing supportive shoes and make sure you maintain good posture. Good posture is the key to a healthy spine. Keep your chin up and your shoulders back. Keep both feet about shoulder-width apart. When working at a desk, make sure that you are getting up every 30 minutes to stretch, even if you just walk around for a few minutes. Next, be sure you are seated correctly. Make sure you have a chair that offers good lower back support. You also want your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle. If you need a stool under your feet to do this, bring one to work. Your computer screen should be at eye-level, so you are not looking down at it. Lifting is one of the most common ways to injure your spine. Try squatting down to the object with one foot slightly in front of the other. Maintain a straight back, bend at the knees and hips. Keep your head looking forward and lift the object by straightening your legs, while keeping your back straight. Hold the object close to your body. Never twist while picking something up. Only turn once you are fully upright. Keep the same idea in mind when you are putting the object back down.
Q: What should I be looking for when I purchase a backpack and what is the best way to use it?
Jamie H. Bassel DC: Make sure your backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. A heavier backpack will cause you to bend forward to support the weight on your back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing you to lean forward when walking. You should wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain. Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable and can dig into your shoulders. The shoulder straps should be adjustable, so the backpack can be fitted to your body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
Q: The winter is around the corner, are there tips to stay safe during outdoor activities?
Jamie H. Bassel DC: Winter recreational activities and chores can create problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose out of shape. Winter sports like skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you’re not well conditioned. If you shovel snow the wrong way, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kinds of clothing can lead to injury of the neck and back. Simply walking outside in the freezing weather without the proper clothing can intensify older joint problems and cause pain. As muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood supply to our arms and legs are reduced. This exposes our bodies to potential injury. Getting ready for an outdoor winter activity, including conditioning and stretching the areas of the body that are most vulnerable, can help you prevent injury and requiring additional medical care.
Q: What is the proper sleeping position?
Jamie H. Bassel DC: Find the mattress that is right for you. A firm mattress is typically recommended; however, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is always important. You should sleep with a pillow. Ergonomic pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position. Try avoiding sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back is usually helpful for back pain. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.
About Jamie H. Bassel DC
Over 20 years ago I began my practice, committed to providing breakthrough pain treatment. My goal is to relieve any kind of pain or discomfort you may be experiencing and then help you live a comfortable, healthy and productive life. I specializes in treating spinal injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and scoliosis and assists in active rehabilitation. I was a team physician with the American Basketball Association’s Harlem Strongdogs and the U.S. Basketball’s Brooklyn Kings. I am an active member of the NYC volunteer community. I am a member of the Genetic Disease Foundation (GDF) Board of Directors and its Medical Advisory Board. I am also the co-founder, Zak’s Promise: Progress with Support, Inc.
About Slingshot Health
Slingshot Health is a health tech startup that brings top healthcare providers and patients together. Patients bid on the cost of services and healthcare providers accept bids based on availability. Slingshot Health is unique in that it is a mutual marketplace putting both patients and providers back in control. Visit us at slingshothealth.com.