It’s a safe bet that most Americans who worry about their health focus on their heart, lungs, and digestive system. How many of us proactively think about keeping our spine healthy? If you gave people a list of concerns, their spine would be down the list, unless they suffered with chronic back and neck pain. So before you end up going down that road, here is a guide to keeping your spine healthy.
A Common Problem Many People Ignore
Lower back pain is the leading cause of job-related disability, yet so many ignore the early signs or think it will just go away if they pain reliever. When it doesn’t, and it becomes worse, it is already becoming chronic.
Before it gets to that point, there are many successful ways to keep your spine healthy.
Stand And Sit Correctly
Mom used to tell you to stand up straight and not to slouch in a chair. She was right, again! Incorrect posture, whether on your sofa or sitting at your desk, works against your spine support. Avoid sitting for long periods as it can stress the lumbar discs. Try a stand up desk if you work from home.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Carrying around too much weight puts unnecessary stress on the spine. Eat foods high in calcium and other nutrients to protect your spine from disorders like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
When you have back pain it is harder to have the energy to walk or do any type of exercise. Get ahead of that curve and maintain a healthy walking schedule no matter your age. Find some simple stretches to keep your back flexible. Riding a bike, swimming, or just playing with your kids helps to keep your spine healthy.
Without sufficient hydration your soft tissues, joints, and spinal discs will lose elasticity, and you can actually lose height. When your discs shrink and become brittle, you are more vulnerable to conditions like a ruptured or herniated disc.
Proper form when lifting anything is an essential part of keeping your spine healthy. Use your legs and knees instead of your back or upper body as you stand close to the object you are lifting. Keep your head down and your back straight. Incorrect lifting form can be the cause of many chronic back issues.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it reduces blood flow and limits oxygen to the spine. It increases inflammation and deterioration within the spine and throughout the body.
Listen To Your Body
Your body will usually give you warning signs that something isn’t right. Sometimes a simple issue, if left untreated, may turn into something more serious.