The spine is the key part of our nervous system, and as such, it plays a vital role in how we feel. If you’ve ever woken up with a stiff neck or sore back, then you know just how much your spine affects your mood. Back pain affects millions of individuals every day.
Beyond the discomfort, this type of disease can reduce your quality of life by forcing you to miss work and social events you like, as well as stopping you from performing even ordinary, everyday duties. The good news? You can take care of your spine to improve its health and decrease pain by making some simple changes. Here are some tips for taking care of your spine:
Be Careful When Lifting
When you lift something, be very careful to do it the right way. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and use your leg muscles to lift the object. According to NINDS, here’s how to lift properly: Stand as close to the object as possible, and pull it up using your legs and knees rather than your back or upper body; bend your knees so that your arms are at the same height as the item will assist; maintain a downward gaze and a straight back. If the object is too heavy to lift alone, seek assistance.
Do not lift with your back – this is a surefire way to injure yourself. If you do get injured, Spine Surgery can help you. This type of surgery is designed to correct problems in the spine, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis.
Most people know that sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your spine, but few recognize the role physical activity plays in keeping your back healthy. If you want to take care of your spine and avoid pain, stiffness, and other problems down the road, it’s important that you stay active. Even if you have a job where you sit all day—or just don’t like to exercise–you can still move around during work breaks or on weekends to help keep yourself limber.
And if you’re having trouble getting started with an exercising routine, join a fitness club or hire a personal trainer who will create workouts specifically tailored for your needs. You’ll find exercises like stretching out tight muscles and strengthening weak ones are especially beneficial for spine health.
Sleeping well is one of the most important things you can do for your spine health. Lack of sleep puts pressure on your back and causes pain, which can lead to more serious conditions like arthritis. Here are some tips:
- Sleep in a position that keeps the natural curve of your spine in alignment, such as sleeping on your side with knees bent or sleeping on your stomach with a pillow under the chest. Keep pillows at least six inches from your head so there’s no strain on the neck muscles when you sleep.
- Try not to lay flat (on either side) because this flattens out the natural curves in your back, causing it to bend unnaturally while you sleep and leading to stiffness upon waking.
- If you have to sleep on your back, put a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to keep the spine in a neutral position.
- Limit caffeine before bed and avoid working or using electronic devices in bed, as the blue light from screens can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is another important thing you can do for your spine. Excess weight puts unnecessary strain on your back, which can lead to problems over time. In addition, being overweight makes you more likely to suffer from other health conditions that can also aggravate back pain.
So if you’re looking to improve your back health, losing weight should be one of your top priorities. To start, make small changes to your diet, like eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on processed foods. And be sure to get regular exercise, which can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
It is no secret that stretching is a great way to improve flexibility and range of motion. What many people don’t know, however, is that stretching can also be an effective way to relieve back pain and tension.
In fact, there are a number of stretches you can do to help with your back problems such as the Camel pose, Child’s pose, and the Extended Triangle pose. You should stretch your back regularly, especially if you are experiencing pain.
Did you know that one of the best things you can do for your back is to drink plenty of fluids? Staying hydrated is crucial for keeping your spine healthy and pain-free. When you’re dehydrated, your discs lose their moisture and become less flexible. This makes them more susceptible to injury and can lead to chronic pain. Drinking enough water also helps keep your muscles and ligaments hydrated, which reduces the strain on your back.
In fact, experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day – more if you exercise or spend time in hot weather. Tea, coffee, and other drinks count towards this total, but juice and soda are not as good because they contain sugar and calories.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
In addition, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of back pain and take action early. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see a doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible:
- pain that radiates down your leg
- pain that worsens when you stand or walk
- pain that lasts for more than a few days
- tingling or numbness in your feet or legs
- loss of bladder or bowel control
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s possible that you have a more serious problem and should seek immediate medical attention.
Back pain is a common problem, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from it. There are many things you can do to take care of your spine and reduce the chances of developing chronic pain. Drink plenty of fluids, stay active, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy weight. Stretch regularly and give yourself regular massages.
And most importantly, pay attention to the warning signs and see a doctor or chiropractor if you experience any pain or discomfort. Taking these simple steps will help keep your spine healthy and pain-free for years to come.