It’s all in the details. Pillows and shoes may not seem like a big deal—but they can make a major difference in the way your body feels and functions.

Mattress

If you’re like most people, you spend about a third of the day sleeping. The quality of your mattress impacts the quality of your sleep and the health of your spine. Your mattress should be firm enough to provide adequate support, yet offer enough “give” to conform to your spine’s natural curve. When sleeping on your side, the mattress should support your waist, but sink slightly where your shoulder and hips rest.

Pillow

The pillow you use should maintain the alignment of your spine. Avoid pillows that position your head and neck unnaturally—it should remain level with your spine. If you sleep on your side, it also can be beneficial to sleep with a pillow between your legs.

Computer/desk chair

Do you spend more time sitting at your desk than in bed? If so, it’s important for you to have a chair that provides proper support. Special ergonomic chairs are excellent but can be costly. If you’re selecting a regular desk chair, select one that allows you to adjust the height. You should be able to rest comfortably, with both feet flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the floor. Adjustable armrests should enable you to rest your arms without pushing your shoulders up. Remember to stand up every hour or so to stretch your legs.

Computer Screen

The computer monitor should be directly behind the keyboard so you can look straight at the screen without turning your neck. Set the screen so your line of vision is about three-quarters of the way up the screen when you look straight at the monitor. The keyboard should be low enough that your shoulders are relaxed and your arms are comfortably near your body. 

Shoes

Painful feet or feet that aren’t being supported properly put stress on the joints in your ankles, knees, hips and lower spine. Chiropractic adjustment of your feet can help alleviate the pain. Your DC also may recommend specific shoes or shoe inserts to provide better support. When selecting shoes, choose models that have index finger’s width between your toe and the tip of the shoe. Your heel should fit comfortably against the back of the shoe and not slide when you’re walking. Toss old shoes—their worn structure won’t provide adequate support.