Maintaining optimal musculoskeletal health goes beyond simply seeking treatment when we experience pain or discomfort. It requires a holistic approach that encompasses wellness and self-care practices. As chiropractors, it’s important to integrate these practices into our own daily lives, so that we can support our body’s natural healing abilities, prevent injuries, and promote overall well-being. We are also the best advertisement for our profession; thus, it’s important to follow what we preach to our own patients to encourage them to as it will enable us to explore the importance of holistic wellness and self-care in achieving and maintaining optimal musculoskeletal health.
Regular exercise plays a vital role in keeping our musculoskeletal (MSK) system strong and resilient. Incorporating a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises can help improve muscle strength, joint stability, and overall posture. It’s great to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, along with strength training exercises to target major muscle groups. Low-impact activities such as swimming or yoga can enhance flexibility and balance. I’ve had several patients who were not accustomed to exercising but wanted to change their routine to improve health and promote weight loss. After further discussion, we discussed they would begin their exercise journey by introducing short walks several times a week around the neighborhood. There are numerous benefits to walking, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, mental health being, increased bone strength, and reducing the risk of certain conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Slow jogging could then be added to strengthen muscles, bones, enhance lung capacity, and manage weight. Walking and slow jogging also puts less stress on joints compared to high impact activities.
Stress can significantly impact our MSK health by contributing to muscle tension, pain, and poor posture. Engaging in stress management techniques can help alleviate these issues. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness practices are great methods to reduce stress levels. Regular relaxation techniques can release muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote a sense of overall well-being. Several botanical supplements, such as Ashwagandha, Chamomile, Valerian, Rhodiola Rosea, and Lavender have been found to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance mental performance; however, it’s important to speak with a medical professional prior to self-medicating. Proper nutrition and hydration play a significant role in providing your body with the essential nutrients your body needs.
Many of us spend a significant amount of time at our desks or workstations, which can take a toll on our musculoskeletal health. Creating an ergonomic workspace can make a world of difference! It’s important to ensure one’s chair provides proper lumbar support, adjust the desk height to maintain a neutral posture, and position the computer screen at eye level to avoid straining the neck. Frequent breaks to stretch and change positions throughout the day can help prevent stiffness and promote better blood circulation. Brugger’s exercise a simple postural correction exercise that targets the upper body to promote better proper alignment. To perform Brugger’s exercise, sit on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the ground and lift your chest while rolling your shoulders back and down. Tuck the chin down towards throat and hold the position for 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.
Brugger’s exercise: sit on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the ground and lift your chest while rolling your shoulders back and down. Tuck the chin down toward the throat and hold the position for 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.
Holistic wellness and self-care practices are essential for maintaining optimal musculoskeletal health. By incorporating exercise routines, stress management techniques, ergonomic workspace setups, and healthy lifestyle choices, we can promote the well-being of our musculoskeletal system. Let’s prioritize self-care and embrace a holistic approach to achieve long-term musculoskeletal health and overall wellness.
Remember, small changes can make a big difference!