The spine is a large, complex structure of bones, discs, joints, ligaments, nerves, and muscles. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to complete basic motions or carry out our daily routines.
Unfortunately, the spine is also particularly vulnerable to injury. An estimated 8% of all adults experience chronic back pain that limits their day-to-day activities.
Thankfully, with a few simple strategies, you can protect your spine against wear and tear. Here are our top 10 tips for a happy, healthy spine:
1. Practice Good Posture.
Your posture can largely impact the health of your spine. Maintaining good posture with your shoulders back, your head over your shoulders, and a slight curve in your lower back will reduce the strain on your spine.
2. Focus on Weight Management.
Excess body weight stresses the spine and increases wear and tear over time. Maintaining a healthy body weight will help keep your spine – and the rest of your body – healthy.
3. Consider an Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
Inflammatory can diminish the health of your spine and worsen back pain. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that limits red meat, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods can help reduce inflammation throughout your body.
4. Stay Active.
For a healthy, happy spine, keep moving! Exercising regularly improves spinal mobility and strengthens the muscles that support your spine.
5. Check Your Desk Chair.
If you’re seated for most of the workday, make sure that your desk chair provides adequate lumbar spine support. Additionally, stand up and walk around several times throughout the day to prevent prolonged periods of sitting.
6. Use Proper Lifting Techniques.
Weightlifting with poor posture can quickly lead to spinal injuries. Make sure to keep your back straight, bend your knees, and “lift with your legs”. Also, never lift more weight than you can handle.
7. Consider Swimming or Water Aerobics.
Water activities are excellent for the health of your spine. If you’re suffering from back pain, swimming and water aerobics may help you stay mobile without triggering discomfort.
8. Stretch It Out.
Tight back muscles can limit spinal mobility and lead to pain. So, stretch out your back muscles regularly and consider activities that naturally stretch the body, like yoga.
9. Improve Your Sleeping Position.
Certain sleeping positions are harder on the spine than others. Try to sleep on your back or side, and invest in a pillow that supports the natural curve of your spine.
10. Manage Stress.
Frequent stress can cause muscle tension and, ultimately, back pain. Practicing stress management techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, and exercising can help you avoid the adverse effects of stress.
At Hernando Orthopaedic, we offer a range of treatment options for spinal conditions and diseases. Contact us today to book an appointment!