Do you have a healthy spine, or do you experience back or neck pain on occasion or regularly?
If you’re like millions of people around the world, you might struggle with muscle strain along your spinal column.
The good news is that there are good habits you can do to help improve the strength and agility of your spine and prevent and relieve the pain of neck and back injuries.
Read on for ten valuable tips for a happy and healthy spine.
Essential Tips for a Happy and Healthy Spine
1. Examine Your Exercise Regimen
A good exercise regimen helps maintain a healthy spine. And if your spine is injured, exercise can help rehabilitate your injuries.
Now you don’t need to be a star athlete with a complex exercise plan to perform for a healthy spine. A simple exercise routine strengthening and stretching your back, abdominal muscles and hamstrings will suffice.
These simple exercises will help direct nutrients into your soft tissues and spinal discs and keep your spinal discs, muscles, joints, and ligaments healthy. Stretching and strengthening also help spinal injuries heal faster.
2. Proper Lifting
Lifting heavy items improperly can compromise your lower back muscles and cause a back injury and bring about painful muscle strains.
When your body is not positioned properly, you can also lock your spinal joint or rupture your spinal discs when lifting something heavy.
Proper lifting goes beyond bending your knees. When you lift a heavy object make sure to hips lead you rather than your back.
Rely on your abdomen muscles and put your chest forward. These easy tips will prevent you from pulling a muscle in your spine that can cause great pain.
3. Check Your Posture
Do you catch yourself slouching when you’re at work or sitting on the sofa at home? Many people have poor posture and aren’t even aware of it.
If you’ve looked at a photo of a spine, you can see the spine forms natural curves. And it’s important that your sitting posture supports these curves.
When your posture works against the natural curvature of your spine, you can damage the nerves on your spine which are sensitive.
First, stretch and walk every chance you get, even if for a few minutes. Make sure your desk and office chair align to support your spine ergonomically. Many offices are purchasing ergonomic chairs and furniture for their employees.
Get a standup desk to work at for a few hours or try sitting on an exercise ball for a portion of the day. These options are ideal for people who have the option to work from home.
4. Treat Your Body to Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has its benefits. It provides a good solution to effectively treat certain conditions for back injuries and pain.
A few advantages of massage therapy is that it stimulates blood circulation, alleviates sore muscles on the spine and raises endorphin levels which permeate the spine. Massage therapy can even help you get a better night’s sleep.
5. Regular Walking Leads to a Healthy Spine
A regular walk provides a variety of advantages. Walking strengthens the core, nourishes your spine and keeps your body in an upright position. It also promotes flexibility and solidifies bone structure.
Be sure to see your doctor or chiropractor before beginning a walking regimen. A professional will let you know how long you should spend time walking. To minimize putting pressure on your spine, walk in a pool or the ocean.
6. Take to the Water
Beyond walking in water, exercising in a swimming pool is good for back pain. Water therapy programs decrease putting pressure on your bones and avoid the risk of injuring your spine while in the water.
That’s because the buoyancy of the water helps supports your spinal column. When you exercise in a pool, the water’s viscosity creates resistance from friction which puts less stress on your spine.
And the warm water often used in therapy programs soothe the muscles. Some popular water therapy programs include low impact aerobics.
7. Soothe Your Pain with Heat Therapy
It’s no secret, heat soothes the muscles. But when you apply heat to your muscles, it also promotes blood flow. This provides your muscles with essential nutrients your spine needs.
Heat therapy reduces pain from joints and muscles near your spine. It has also been known to alleviate muscle spasms as well.
There are many heat therapy products you can find on the market. Try a heating pad or a heat wrap that delivers low, consistent heat that’s transmitted over a few hours.
Other heat therapy options include hot water bottles, warm baths, and warm gel packs.
8. How to Sleep Right
For the best results for proper spine health, design a sleeping strategy that’s right for your body.
Get a pillow that supports your neck’s natural curve. Everyone’s is different. So a pillow that works for one person won’t work for another. The position in which you sleep also affects the sleeping pillow you need.
Do you sleep on your side? Then you need a thick pillow that ensures your head and neck are positioned properly in the center of your shoulders.
The height and width of your shoulders determine the right pillow you should buy. For example, a small person does better with a thinner pillow than a person who has broad shoulders.
9. Enroll in a Yoga or Meditation Class
Research has shown meditation provides effective relief of chronic back pain. Practices like yoga, Tai Chi, and mindful meditation have helped many people who suffer from chronic back pain.
Breathing and stretching exercises seem to promote better spine health. What’s most important is you do the practice consistently.
Find a meditation or yoga practice that works for you. People have different preferences when it comes to meditation practices.
10. Eat Right and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Proper nutrition plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy spine. Eating foods high in calcium and that containing essential nutrients and vitamins can prevent spinal disorders such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
To add, maintaining a healthy weight lightens pressure put on the spine. A healthy weight combined with exercise can lessen the chance of a back injury.
The Takeaway on Valuable Tips for a Healthy Spine
While you might not be able to do all ten tips right away, incorporate them little by little into your daily regimen and you’ll be on your way to a happy and healthy spine!
Check out more valuable tips for your skeletal and muscular system on the Omega Rehab and Sport blog.