How to Keep Your Spine Healthy
Back problems affect up to 80% of Americans. Thankfully, there are many ways you can help to keep your spine healthy on your own.
Get Much Needed Rest
When you sleep, your spine has a chance to relax against the effects of gravity. It’s worked hard all day to keep you upright and keep all the structures of your body in place. When you sleep, your spine should be allowed to rest in a fully supported and comfortable way. Choose a mattress and pillow best suited to your needs and preferred sleeping position.
A major function of your spine is to keep you upright. Did you know that building your core muscles and back muscles can take some of the burden off of your spine and help to alleviate back pain associated with the lower back? Many of us don’t get enough activation in our core from our daily activities, so we must make sure to exercise these muscles through other activities.
Wear Supportive Footwear
The shoes we wear play a major role in supporting our spinal posture and lower back. You may not realize it, but inappropriate foot alignment or tightness in the calves affects the body’s posture all the way up to the top of your head. Everything is connected. By wearing supportive footwear for your unique needs, you can help prevent things like pronation and supination of the foot and help to provide a solid foundation for proper spinal alignment.
Treat Yourself to a Massage
With your physical therapists’ okay, treating yourself to a relaxing massage can provide a multitude of benefits to your spine. A massage can release endorphins, which is a natural pain reliever. It can also encourage blood flow and release tight muscles which may cause spine pain.
Posture when Sitting
You may think that sitting is a natural position or one that doesn’t require instruction to do it correctly. However, most of us utilize incorrect ergonomics when sitting and put our spines into compromising positions. If we limit sitting, we not only put our spines into more healthy positions, we also build strength in muscles that support our spine. If you must sit, make sure you stretch or walk around every 20 to 30 minutes.
Choosing to pursue spinal health is a worthy endeavor, but it may not come naturally if you already have an injury to the spine. The expert providers at Cape Fear Orthopedics and Sports Medicine can help diagnose and treat spine pain and injuries. Please call 910-484-2171 to schedule your appointment today.