5 Easy Tips to Keep Your Spine in Good Health
Your spine and its muscles provide major support for the rest of your body. Using these five easy tips will help to protect your hard-working spine and keep it in good working order.
1. Give your spine ample support as you sleep
When you go to bed at night, that spine that has worked hard all day finally gets a chance to relax and rejuvenate. To benefit most from this resting time, your mattress and pillows should comfortably support the spine. We all tend to sleep in different positions, and our back or neck problems can differ widely. There is no one mattress that neurologists or chiropractors universally recommend. It’s best to try a variety until you find one that offers the best support for your particular condition, whilst lying in the sleeping position you prefer.
2. Keep your core muscles strong
In order to remain strong and supple enough to support your spine and ease pressure on your lower back, your core muscles need specific, targeted exercises. Our everyday activities rarely exercise the core – especially if we have sedentary jobs! But there’s no need to go to the gym to get a great core workout. Simply searching “no equipment core workout” in Google or YouTube will bring up plenty of abdomen-strengthening exercises that you can do at home. Try to get in at least 5-8 minutes per day. (If you have had a back injury, don’t commence any exercise program before consulting a medical specialist.)
3. Wear well-fitted, supportive shoes
When we walk, whether for exercise or just to get from point A to point B, good shoes play a critical role in supporting our lower backs and keeping them well aligned. For instance, the part of the shoe behind your heel should fit snugly, but not overly tight. This is because a good fit around the heels prevents our feet from rolling to the inside or outside. If you need further balance or support, consider using shoe inserts or orthotic devices.
4. Get a massage
Massages have therapeutic benefits beyond relieving stress. Enjoying a good massage helps to increase endorphins –feel good brain chemicals – in the blood stream. Encouraging these natural pain killers could allow you to reduce the need for pain meds. Massages also get the blood flowing, which brings vital nutrients to the spine area in order to speed healing.
5. Practice good seated posture – and limit your sitting time
When we’re seated, our lower spines take on three times the load that they do when we’re standing. So, sitting for long periods of time makes us more likely to contract or aggravate back pains. Slouching or leaning forward, as we tend to while working on a computer, can stress our lumbar discs still more. That means it’s important to use chairs that properly support our backs’ natural curves and also to practice good posture while sitting down.
To remain healthy, our spines need to move. Whether at work or at home, it’s important to take breaks from being seated. Every 20 minutes to half hour, get up to stretch and walk around. Your spine will thank you for it!
If you’re in the Palm Harbor, Florida area and are suffering from back pain, our Pain Relief Program at Neurological Solutions can help to non-surgically relieve your pain and restore spinal function. Neurologist Allan Spiegel, M.D. offers personalized assessments to see whether Physical Therapy or other effective treatments could be right for you. To schedule an appointment, simply click here or call 727-787-7077.