5 ways to Look After your Spine
Our spines are wonderfully made of 24 movable bones that are able to support our weight, hold us upright and protect our spinal cord. This is an extremely important function as our spinal cord and nervous system is responsible for the movement and coordination of the rest of our body.
This is why it is vitally important that we look after our spinal health, and ensure we can rely on our spines for our whole lifetime.
Here are some simple ways you can improve your spinal health:
- It is easy to hurt your spine while trying to lift a heavy object. The correct way to lift something is to stand as close to the object as possible. Bend your knees so that your arms are at the same height as the item. Keep your head down and your back straight, while lifting the item with the strength of your knees and legs. If the item is too heavy to carry, rather get help than hurt yourself.
- Sleep should take up at least 8 hours of our 24 hour day, so you should make sure that during this time your body is healing and resting instead of hurting itself. The best sleeping position for your spine is to sleep on your side. When buying a mattress, you should always invest in one that is supportive of your spine, especially if you suffer from back problems. Your pillow also plays a role in your spinal health as supporting your head and neck correctly has an impact on your spinal alignment. This is why you should match your pillow to your sleeping position. Pillows should be thick enough so that your head and shoulders are positioned in the middle of your shoulders, while you are lying on your side. Your shoulder width and general height must also be taken into account.
- Staying active maintains normal joint function and a good range of motion. The best exercise routine for your back and neck contains stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity. Physical activity, whether it be visiting the gym or going for a walk, also relieves tension and stress in the muscles, which will help you sleep better and have more energy.
- A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, exercise and staying hydrated all play an important role in a person’s overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight for your age and height is crucial in alleviating the stress put on the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower back by excess weight. Water is great alternative to sugary drink and makes up most of our body. It is an important tool in weight loss and in maintaining the elasticity in the soft tissue of our joints.
- Most importantly, always pay attention to any warning signs and discomfort you may feel in your back. It is common to have pain in your back every now and then, especially after strenuous activity. However, if the pain persists or if you frequently suffer from back pain, the best thing to do is to have it seen to by a chiropractor. Rather see a chiropractor and have them diagnosis the pain as nothing serious and easy fixed, than self medicate or ignore the pain for it to become something more serious and less easy to treat.