Your spine is literally the backbone of good health! Misalignments not only trigger pain and limit your range of motion, but can also irritate the nerves housed in the spinal column and interrupt signals sent by your brain to the rest of your body. Disruption in nerve communication can trigger a myriad of health conditions, from sciatica, muscle or joint degeneration, to vestibular problems like vertigo, and respiratory and cardiovascular issues.
This year’s Chiropractic Health Month theme is “Back to Basics.” Taking steps today can go a long way to preventing spine problems and pain as you age.
Check out our tips to keep your spine as healthy as possible:
1. Watch your figure — Excessive weight raise the risk of numerous illnesses and increases pressure on the spine. Stick to a healthy diet to keep your weight in check and reduce any extra strain and damage to the spine.
2. Strengthen your core. Exercises that focus on abdominals, back and pelvic muscles build a solid core that can help prevent back injuries. Click this link to The Mayo Clinic for helpful core building exercises.
3. Get enough shut-eye. You spine needs restorative rest too, after all it supports your entire body’s weight all day. 8 hours or more is ideal. (Trouble sleeping? Neurofeedback is a great non-drug therapy that can help improve sleep patterns).
4. Don’t slouch! Poor posture is the culprit behind many issues related to pain, breathing, digestion and even fatigue. Be conscious of your posture while sitting, standing and even sleeping. Did you realize that sleeping on your stomach puts undue strain – nearly 50 pounds of pressure — on your spine and can cause neck pain? Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to give your spine the support and rest it needs to function optimally. Pilates and yoga are good practices to help improve posture.
5. Stretch at regular intervals throughout the day. Need a quick 2PM pickup? Try a good stretch to boost your energy and clear your mind. Stretching increases blood flow and releases the feel good endorphins that can help to lighten your mood.
6. Lift with caution! Avoid twisting while lifting. Be sure to bend your knees and use your legs, keeping your feet at least a shoulder’s length apart. Hold heavier objects closer to your body. Keep your back straight, tighten your stomach muscles and lift slowly to prevent risk of injury.
7. Remember to rehydrate throughout the day. Water helps to reduce stiffness and helps to maintain the health of keep your spine’s shock absorbing intervertebral discs.
8. Visit your chiropractor! Regular chiropractic maintenance can improve spinal and joint function, enabling you to enjoy a healthier, active more active lifestyle. Therapeutic massage is another good choice for our spinal health; massage not only feels good, but is good for your spine, reducing built-up tension in muscles, tendons and ligaments that puts pressure on the spine.
Keeping your spine healthy and happy can go a long way toward preserving an active lifestyle as you age. Let us be a part of your long-term spinal health plan. Call 631.265.1223.