Do You Take the Health of Your Spine Serious Enough?
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison
People are often heard saying they want to strengthen or protect their heart, control their weight, or get in better shape, but how often do you hear someone say, “I’m working on improving my spinal health”?
Unfortunately the health of your spine is typically taken for granted and ignored until, of course you have a back painor back injury.
Why your spine is so important…
First of all, the spine is what holds us upright. Comprised of 24 movable bones called vertebra, our spine supports the weight of our bodies and plays an important part in our ability to move. But, even more important, it protects our spinal cord and our central nervous system, which controls the function of every organ, tissue and cell in our body.
A damaged spine can:
- affect how you move, bend or twist
- determine how or if you feel sensations
- damage or obstruct your esophagus
- affect your balance
- affect your quality of life
- cause great pain and discomfort
- can affect the various systems of your body: glandular, digestive, nervous, muscular, circulatory and eliminative
Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” – Hippocrates
What can you do to improve the health of your spine?
Back pain is the second most common reason people visit their doctors. 80% of all adults experience back pain in their lifetime. Having back pain at some time may be inevitable, but you can reduce how often and how intense this pain is experienced.
Here are some ideas for everyday movements that will keep your spine healthier.
- Standing – when you’re standing stationary for a while, to take the pressure off your lower back, stand with 1 foot slightly ahead of the other and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Sitting – Remember what your Mom always said…”Sit up straight, no slouching!”, and whenever possible, sit with your knees a bit higher than your hips.
- Choose the proper tools – If you work at a desk all day, make you sure have a chair that fits you correctly and provides good support for your back.
- Lifting – Use your legs for the strength behind lifting heavy items, not your back, and if the item is too heavy, get someone to help you. (Whatever you’re trying to lift isn’t important enough to injure your back.) No matter how large or small the item is you’re lifting, pay special attention that you don’t twist at the same time…this is an especially dangerous movement for your spine.
- Sleeping – Avoid sleeping on your stomach. To sleep in this posture, you must turn your head and neck to an extreme for breath. Holding your neck twisted in this manner can cause abnormal stretching and tearing of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
- Bending – Bending at the waist to pick up something on the ground or at a lower level than you can cause spinal damage.Use your legs, bend at the knees or squat down onto one knees for a safer alternative.
- Carrying a heavy object – If you must carry a heavy object, hold it close to your body. If you’re carrying 2 objects, balance the weight by carrying one in each hand.
- Be sure to stretch – Stretching will help keep you flexible and improve circulation to your muscles and bones; helping you to avoid spinal injury.
- Watch your weight – Carrying around too much weight can be very hard on your back, putting strain and tension on its muscles and ligaments.
- Choose shoes that support your spine – When you are walking any kind of distance, make sure you’re wearing shoes intended for walking…sorry, 5″ heels don’t fit that criteria.
- An ounce of prevention – Have your spine checked and possibly adjusted for normal wear and tear on a regular basis.
If you are having back pain, Contact me today for a no charge consultation, let’s return your spine to good health..