3. What is the best way for a makeup artist or esthetician (who must contort throughout the day) to protect his or her back?
Moving your body in different directions is a good thing. But if you find yourself leaning frequently in one direction more than another, you're a candidate for back pain. Your primary arm will likely drive you to lean in a one direction more than the other, so take time to stretch in the opposite direction between clients.
When working with a client, try to move your entire body around your client rather than leaning around, keeping your spine in alignment from your neck through your hips as much as possible. The stretches and advice mentioned above will often help the makeup artist or esthetician as well.
4. Any suggestions or exercises for a salon professional to keep the back in great shape?
You're busy, but you must take time to protect your back if you want to stay on the job. Your body doesn't want to stagnate in one position so give it a chance to move in a different way from usual throughout the day. Take frequent stretch breaks. If you stand a lot, squat. If you sit a lot, stand up.
The number one cause of chronic back pain is muscle imbalances caused by not using your body in a balanced, symmetrical fashion. The stretches demonstrated above are from our Lose the Back Pain® System, based on common postural dysfunctions that develop from the posture you keep. Using it, you can easily identify what specific muscle imbalances you have. Based on that knowledge, you're then walked through the proper corrective exercises you need to strengthen weak, stretched out muscles and corrective stretches to restore flexibility to overly taut muscles. You can learn more about the Lose the Back Pain® System at www.losethebackpain.com/getstarted.html.