We lift heavy boxes, carry shopping bags and hunch over our desks without giving it another thought, right?
Thing is, our bodies are not designed for this, which leads to muscles becoming tight and inactive. Millions of people are affected by back pain every day. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, lower back pain is the leading cause of job-related disability. So, yes, let’s face it, ranking at the number one reason for doctors’ visits… spines are not the perfect design!
There’s no denying the importance of spine health. Your spine contains your nervous system, and your nervous system controls your ENTIRE body! Anyone who’s experienced even moderate back pain will tell you that it can be brutal and debilitating, completely derailing everyday life.
Fortunately, adopting a preventative attitude can minimise your risk of experiencing unexpected spine related pain. A healthy spine is a happy spine!
We have a few tips on how to improve spine health:
Sleep tight. Your sleeping position can help or hurt your spine. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, sleep on your side with your knees bent towards your chest. Invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck.
Be sure to exercise your core muscles. Your lower back and abdominal muscles need to be strong and supple to support your spine and take the pressure off your lower back. Fedhealth offers an established programme for those suffering from chronic neck and back pain, based on the principle of active muscle reconditioning supported by scientific clinical studies, which prove that exercise reduces pain and can normalise function. (Check out the Fedhealth website under the ‘Zoom on benefits’)
Go for short walks. The benefits are plentiful, including strengthening of the core muscles, increased circulation to the tissues around the spine, improved flexibility and the release of endorphins which is the body’s natural pain reliever.
Wear good shoes. Shoes should provide a supportive base that helps the body and the spine remain in alignment. Make sure that the shoe fits the back of your heel snug – a good fit prevents over pronation or supination – or too much rolling of the foot to the outside or the inside.
Maintain a healthy weight. Choosing foods rich in calcium and vitamins will help to prevent spinal problems such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and legumes. Avoid processed foods and limit unhealthy sweets to an occasional treat.
Quit smoking. Smoking damages the vascular structures of your spinal discs and joints.
Stay hydrated to maintain soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints. Spinal discs are vulnerable to loss of hydration.
Avoid sitting for too long. Make sure that your office chair and desk are ergonomically aligned to support your spine. Sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Stretch and walk every half hour.
When you need to lift something, bend your knees instead of your waist while keeping your back straight.
Carry loads in a rucksack, avoid carrying heavy single sling bags.
Pay attention to the warning signs. If you experience pain and discomfort for more than five days, it’s time to see a doctor.
Remember, your spine has an excellent memory, and as such it is recommended that you take care to provide it with proper support from a young age. Your spine will thank you later!
Source: www.lumobodytech.com, www.activebeat.com, www.spine-health.com, www.williamcapicottomd.com, mckoloskychiropractic.com, www.laspine.com, home.bt.com, www.everydayhealth.com, www.spinalbacktrack.com, www.americanpainexperts.com, www.fedhealth.co.za
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.