Anyone who's suffered back pain knows how important it is to protect your spine. Here are six easy ways to watch out for yourself, and avoid spine trouble that could save you a lot of pain.
Posture is one of the most important components of spine health. Because we spend nearly all of our waking hours standing and sitting, it is important to keep the spine erect, upright, and properly positioned.
No one can maintain perfect posture at all times; however, patients who take the time to pay attention to their posture see noticeable benefits in spine health quickly. Pain decreases and everyday activities become easier.
Research shows that stretching and strengthening the spine's muscles, ligaments, and tendons improves spine health tremendously. Low impact exercises like walking, light jogging, swimming, or biking work great. Weight lifting with proper form is good as well. Training the core abdominal and oblique muscles helps keep the body’s foundation strong and is recommended.
Gaining weight puts extra stress and strain on the spine. In order to maintain your weight, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and weigh yourself consistently. Also, monitor your waist size to make you don’t gain belly fat that could potentially cause lower back pain.
Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on the spine. Sleeping on your side or back is better.
If a movement or activity hurts your spine, do it less or don’t do it at all. Excess twisting, turning, and pivoting should be avoided when possible.
Being in a position too long can cause a posture breakdown that leads to pain. To avoid this, take frequent breaks during work and day-to-day activities.
The six tips outlined above can help you maintain or improve your spine health. However, if you have neck and/or back pain that will not go away despite conservative treatment, we encourage you to make an appointment with an orthopedic spine specialist.