Dr. Jeffrey Ness of Ness Chiropractic and Dr. Rose Fischer of Natural Healing Network are joining the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide to observe National Chiropractic Health Month in October.

People are encouraged to take simple steps to improve the health of their bones, muscles and joints — the musculoskeletal (MSK) system — as part of this year’s “Strength. Stability. Success.” campaign.

More than one in two adults report experiencing an MSK condition such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. They are the most commonly reported medical conditions among those under age 65 and the second most common condition for people age 65 and older.

Low back pain alone is the leading cause of disability worldwide. 

This October, the doctors are encouraging people to set themselves up for future stability and success by taking a few simple steps to improve MSK health.

First, people are encouraged to move more. Bones, muscles and joints need movement to stay healthy.

The U.S. surgeon general recommends adults get at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity (such as walking, yardwork, recreational swimming) or at least 75 minutes of intense weekly activity (such as jogging, hiking uphill, basketball).

Second, the doctors say people should eat a balanced diet. Proper nutrition is just as important to musculoskeletal health as it is to overall health. A balanced diet includes whole fresh foods and tries to avoid processed foods.

The doctors also recommend going outside. The sun helps bodies produce Vitamin D, which in turn helps us to absorb calcium and strengthen bones.

Also recommended is to work on weight-bearing exercises. Walking, jogging and resistance exercises such as weightlifting can improve bone density. Planks and squats can also strengthen core muscles. 

Non-weight-bearing exercises such as swimming and biking also can benefit the MSK system, especially for people unable to walk or jog while recovering from back, hip or knee pain.

Everyone is encouraged to stay hydrated. Drinking water makes muscles stronger by carrying oxygen to the cells of the body. It also helps lubricate and cushion joints.

People are also advised to quit smoking. Smoking contributes not only to cardiovascular disease but also osteoporosis and bone fracture as we age.

Rest also in important, said the doctors. A good night’s sleep enables our bodies to repair muscles and joints that are strained or injured during the day.

Lastly, the doctors said people should not drink too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol excessively can lead to osteoporosis and bone fracture.

Learn more at www.acatoday.org/NCHM.