3 Things to Do for Better Spine Health
If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you know how quickly it can affect your daily routine. With the onset of back pain being a common complaint among all professions and age demographics, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent the onset of symptoms or better manage your spine health.
With the spine as the cornerstone of good health because of its role in providing full body stability and protecting the central nervous system (aka the spinal cord), it’s important to make good spine health a top priority. In doing so, you are prioritizing a high quality of life that you deserve. How do you protect your spine and keep it as healthy as possible? It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Let’s review the basics below.
#1. Firstly, Consider Your Ergonomics
Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about the positions we hold our spines in throughout the day (and night), that is until we experience some kind of pain or discomfort. However, the way your spine spends most of the day can either have major benefits or bring great detriment to your health. Holding poor posture chronically can lead to spine misalignment and affect nerve flow that is essential for every basic bodily function. Let’s dive into some of our most common postures and how to make them as ergonomically friendly as possible for a happy spine.
- Sleep position. Since we spend around a third of each day in bed (or should be at least), good posture is essential. The best position will vary slightly with each person’s preferences and spine curvature. However, in general consider sleeping on a firmer mattress that provides adequate support to the spine and it’s natural curves and doesn’t sink in the middle. Plus, the right utilization of pillows can help support arms, hips, and the neck properly to give you a good night’s rest and help you wake up without a stiff back.
- Sitting posture. Outside of sleep, the next position we spend a lot of time in is sitting for work, recreation, entertainment, etc. When sitting at a desk, set up your computer screen and chair so that your spine is supported from head to butt. In general, you want your hips to be at about 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor, and the neck in neutral when looking at your screen. Plus, don’t forget to keep your spine health in mind when sitting on a couch or driving in your car too!
- Standing postures. When standing, it’s easy to get fatigued and end up leaning in awkward positions that are hard on the spine. It’s important to keep the core muscles active and avoid leaning to one side or slouching excessively as you get tired.
- Movement with daily activities. Daily movements like squatting and reaching are common culprits of back pain. Keeping a neutral spine and being mindful of the way we move is key. Guidance from a health professional that understands the importance of ergonomics like a chiropractor can help immensely.
#2. Proactively Manage Your Daily Stress
While some level of daily stress is normal and actually good for the body, chronic stress can be detrimental to every basic bodily function. Hormones imbalances can lead to physical health problems such as pain, inflammation, insomnia and more. Plus, it can leave you feeling off mentally as well. All of this translates to a higher risk of developing spine related injuries and symptoms. Thankfully, managing stress can be simple with these tips in mind.
- Regular exercise (don’t forget core specific moves specifically for your spine health!)
- Taking time each day, even if for a few minutes, for self-care
- Practicing mindfulness techniques such as journaling, meditation, etc.
- Making sleep quality and quantity a priority
- Making healthy food choices that boost energy and mental clarity
- Foster healthy relationships with friends, family, and coworkers
- Work with a holistic healthcare professional that helps you find sustainable full body balance
#3. Get Chiropractic Care Regularly
Having a spine expert on your side for continual guidance is a great way to stay on top of your health, no matter what comes your way. There are a ton of spine benefits to regularly seeing a chiropractor. They can help prevent unnecessary suffering by catching any underlying issues that can lead to poor spine health, such as spine misalignment and poor movement mechanics. Plus, they can help you quickly address symptoms when they crop up to shorten their duration and potentially prevent them from becoming chronic or severe. Here’s what you can expect with consistent chiropractic care.
- Regular spine assessments to catch underlying imbalances and misalignments
- Get spine (and other joint) adjustments, as needed, to optimize nerve health and feel your best
- Medication free pain management tips as needed
- Exercise recommendations with a focus on mechanics and muscle/spine balance
- Holistic lifestyle recommendations to maximize your health in every aspect- including sleep, diet, weight loss, etc.
Take the Reigns of Your Own Spine Health
Keeping the spine as healthy as possible is important for so many reasons when it comes to feeling your best. Thankfully, it can be accomplished by following the tips above. As experts in spine alignment and holistic care, working with a chiropractor is definitely in your best interest. If you are ready to say yes to your best health now and for years to come, you can get in touch with the North Alabama Spine and Rehab in Decatur and Huntsville, AL to get started.