Your spine is connected in some way to every single part of your body via nerves, connective tissue, and bone, so if your spine is in an unhealthy condition your quality of life and overall health may suffer. Things like chronic back pain, back spasms, and issues with the vertebrae are responsible for holding millions of Americans back every year from doing what they love. Unfortunately, chronic back pain is often treated with medications that can become addictive or harmful if treated incorrectly. If you are someone who enjoys having a healthy, injury-free spine, then continue reading for some helpful tips on how to love your spine.
Use Proper Posture
Not using proper posture while sitting, standing, or sleeping is the number one cause of long term back issues and sudden injuries. To reduce the risk of injury during these activities try the following practices to improve posture:
- While sitting, be sure to keep your back straight and your head level. It’s also important that your knees are sitting slightly below your hips, so be sure to use a chair that is comfortable and allows you to achieve this position.
- When standing for long periods of time be sure to keep your head level and back straight. To take the pressure off of your lower back, you can shift the weight from one foot to the other every few minutes while keeping your knees slightly bent.
- While you are not necessarily in control of what position you sleep in throughout the night, you can choose what position you fall asleep in. Lying on your side is the best position, and to take additional pressure off of your spine you can either place a pillow behind your lower back or in between your knees.
Maintain Healthy Activities
Regular exercise and healthy activities go hand in hand with strengthening the spine and surrounding muscles. If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for hours at a time, be sure you are walking around and taking a break every 30 minutes to every hour. Workouts that have an emphasis on core strength have been shown to protect the spine from injury so try to incorporate a short workout or fitness class into your routine 2 – 3 times per week.
Make Diet A Priority
Food is a very big part of life, and unfortunately in the US, the most convenient option is unhealthy and not conducive to our wellness. One of the biggest issues facing people of all ages is obesity and it should come as no surprise that excess weight will put an enormous amount of pressure on your lower back and spine. A healthy diet will not only help you to feel better, but it will also allow you to the things in life you truly enjoy without the threat of back injury. Start by focusing on foods that are high in calcium like dairy products, dark leafy greens, sardines, and oranges. Work on one food and one meal at a time, and eventually, your entire diet and lifestyle will begin to change.