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Tips from an Expert: How to Keep Your Spine Healthy

Tips from an Expert How to Keep Your Spine Healthy
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Keeping a healthy spine is one of the most important things that you can do. Your spine and your back are connected to so many different parts of your body. If your spine is unhealthy and you are not giving it the attention it deserves, you are certainly going to feel it in your body, health, and everyday quality of life.

Since it is so important that you do things to keep your spine healthy, you likely need to make some changes in your daily life or make some additions to ensure you are maintaining a healthy spine.

Figuring out where to start can feel pretty overwhelming, so I have compiled a few of the best, easiest, and simplest ways you make sure your spine is healthy and you are living your best and healthiest life for years and years to come.

Let us take a look at the top tips for how to keep your spine healthy and the best ways to incorporate these tips into your daily life with ease!

Lift Things Properly

It is unlikely that a day goes by when you do not have to lift something. Obviously, lifting heavy items requires proper form and some strength, but even lifting items that are not incredibly heavy improperly can pose a risk to your back and spine. Therefore, whenever you have to lift something with weight, make sure you are doing it correctly.

You want to stand close to the item you are about to lift and lift from your legs and your knees rather than from your back. Bend down to the item so your arms are in line with it, bend your knees slightly, and lift. If you are struggling to pick up the weight of the item with proper form, seek help. Don’t try to do it alone because this is when back injuries happen.

Get Enough Sleep in the Proper Position

Getting a good night’s sleep is important to overall health. It helps your body restore and repair, get stronger, and rest. But it is also essential to make sure when you are sleeping, your spine is resting in a healthy and comfortable way as well. Generally, sleeping on your stomach can put far too much pressure on your spine. Stomach sleeping can create back injuries and sore and achy lower backs.

For sleeping, aim to sleep on your side. It will help keep your spine in the best alignment by investing in a good quality mattress and a pillow that supports your head and neck. You want to sleep in a comfortable position, but also in a way where your neck, head, and spine are in proper alignment.

Stretch Every Day

Stretching is important for a healthy spine and body overall. You put a lot of strain and stress on your body on a daily basis. This strain creates built-up tension, tightness, and most of the time you are going to feel it in your neck, shoulders, back, and spine. This is why it is so important to stretch on a daily basis.

When you stretch, it helps you stay healthy and flexible. It will help you maintain healthy joint function and proper range of motion in the back and in the spine. Being more flexible and having good range of motion will also decrease your overall risk for spine and back injuries.

Get Moving and Exercise

You know how important it is to move your body and exercise every week, but did you know it also keeps your spine healthy? Exercising on a regular basis keeps your body healthy as a whole, but it also ensures your back and spine are strong. Any type of activity during the week is great, but if you can incorporate some aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching you will be golden.

To achieve this proper exercise balance, you can do a combination of gentle stretching days, a quick walk uphill on a treadmill for 30-45 minutes, and a few days of lifting weights or doing body weight exercises like in pilates or yoga. Jogging, biking, swimming, hiking, exercise classes, HIIT, elliptical, and stationary biking are also great ways to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping.

Maintain Proper Posture (Especially at Work)

On a daily basis, you always want to make sure you are maintaining proper posture. You don’t want to round your shoulders, hunch forward, have a constant bend in your lower back, protrude your head outwards too much, lean to one side with your head and neck too much, etc.

People who work office jobs everyday are particularly prone to the issues associated with bad posture. When you are at work, you want to make sure you have a comfortable and supportive chair, your computer is right in front of your head about 18 inches away, and you don’t want to hunch, slouch, or cock your head and neck to the side too much. You will always want to sit tall and with a straight spine, head and neck in a comfortable neutral position, and get up and move around during the day! Take walks to the bathroom, around the office, walk during a lunch break, get up every hour and stretch your legs, back, neck, and shoulders.

In the end, keeping a health spine does not have to be hard! Doing a few simple things during your week will make all the difference and keep your spine and back strong and healthy for many years to come.
Written by Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients using various services such as Anchorage physical therapy modalities, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.
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