How to Keep Your Spine Healthy
A healthy spine is fundamentally important to your overall well-being, which is why it’s important to take an active role in improving and maintaining our spine health. Here are a few ways to get started…
Avoid prolonged sitting
Prolonged sitting can place added pressure on the discs in the lower spine and can aggravate and even create painful back issues. When sitting down for long periods of time, our bodies tend to naturally slouch and lean forward, which strains the lumbar discs further. While at work, make sure your chair supports your back. If you can, get up to move around at least once every hour, or invest in a stand-up desk. In addition, stretching helps relieve pressure on your spine.
Wear supportive shoes
The shoes you wear can have negative or positive effects on your spine health, depending a few factors. Be sure you’re wearing shoes with a supportive base, and use cushioned inserts for extra support. Your shoe should fit the back of the heel snugly, but not too tightly. A good fit in the heel minimizes the risk of the foot rolling too much to the outside or inside, which can negatively affect your spinal alignment.
Treat yourself to a massage
Massage provides numerous therapeutic benefits for the back, neck and spine. Massages can help to produce and deliver endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) into your bloodstream to help ease your pain. Massage also promotes healthy circulation, which can speed up the healing process after an injury.
It’s easy to twist incorrectly and potentially damage your spine if you aren’t using proper form while lifting heavy objects. To lift properly, stand close to the object and focus on using your legs, rather than your back or upper body, to push up and support the item you’re lifting.
Get regular sleep
Sleep is crucial to your overall health and wellness, as it provides a time for the body to repair itself. Try to adapt to side-sleeping positions, rather than sleeping on your stomach, which can put too much pressure on your spine. Invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck, and turn/flip your mattress regularly so it wears evenly.
Regular exercise, whether it be visits to the gym or walks through the neighborhood, will help to maintain the health of your spine. The best exercises for your spine are activities that combine stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity. Exercise will help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight to prevent extra strain on your spine.
Pay attention to warning signs
Lastly, pay attention to any warning signs that your spine may be injured or unhealthy. Don’t ignore spinal problems or pain, especially if it goes on for more than a couple weeks. If left untreated, spinal pain can worsen over time and become more serious.
If you’ve been suffering from neck or back pain, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule an appointment.