6 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy
Your spine is the backbone of your body – pun intended. It is literally what keeps you walking and moving around. When you mess up your back, you mess up your entire body. Back pain has been compared to some of the worst pains a human can experience. Some women even say it’s worse than childbirth. Back pain often leaves you incapacitated and at the mercy of others, medication and therapy. Sometimes this pain is caused by things like accidents or diseases. Most of the time, though, this pain can be prevented. Here are six ways that you can keep your spine healthy.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
If you want your spine to stay strong, you have to exercise your core and back daily. Strengthening your muscles in these areas helps to maintain a healthy spine. Strong back and core muscles are less likely to go out or get injured. If you are doing activities that require you to be in one position for a long period of time, be sure you take frequent breaks. You need to be able to walk around and stretch. Staying in one position puts unnecessary strain on your back. This goes for sitting, standing, crouching or any other position.
Drink plenty of water. It not only flushes the toxins from your system, but it helps your muscles to maintain their elasticity. People who drink plenty of water find it easier to stretch and exercise.
Sleep the Right Way
The average adult should get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Your mattress and pillows make a difference in how restful your sleep is. Your spine needs rest, just like the rest of your body. When you lie down, your mattress and pillows should completely support your spine. The type of material it’s made from doesn’t matter. As long as it supports your spine, it’s a good pick.
If you wake up stiff and sore, it’s probably because you have a bad mattress or pillows. You can wake up with crooks in your neck, backaches, sore hips or other tender muscles. This is because your body isn’t really at rest if you’re on a bad mattress. Being stuck in one position is work for your body, and you will wake up feeling like you fought the bed instead of sleeping on it.
Wear the Right Type of Shoes
Your shoes should be comfortable and good for you to walk in. This means they support your natural posture. You should be able to walk in them without saying your feet hurt, and they should be flexible. Feet and back problems are directly connected. That’s why good shoes are important. Heels are not good for your feet or spine. Women who wear heels for long periods of time on a daily basis run the risk of developing back problems.
Some flat shoes aren’t good for your spine either. Ballet flats and flip-flops do not absorb shock very well. They can cause your feet to hurt, especially if you’re standing in them or walking on an unforgiving surface like concrete.
Get Regular Massages
Massages are very affordable nowadays. You don’t need to get one very frequently either. Once every 8-12 weeks is good enough. Massages loosen up the tension that develops in your muscles. Tension occurs naturally because our bodies are constantly in motion and in use. Our muscles also carry our stress. Massages allow your body to release all of this. If your muscles continue to house stress, knots, and tension, you can develop back problems.
Smoking degenerates your body very quickly. The chemicals in the smoke you inhale through your lungs spread to your body. It also decreases your body’s ability to produce oxygen. It erodes tissue, causing it to decay faster than normal. It especially affects the discs in your back, since your lungs are protected by your spine.
Get Regular Checkups
This is not a given. Most people don’t go see the doctor every year for a physical check-up. They only go see him when they have a problem. While you should tell your doctor the instant you start feeling severe back pain (as it may be a sign of something else), you may be able to catch a problem before it starts with a regular checkup.
During your checkup, your doctor checks your heart rate, breathing, and asks a series of routine questions. He may even have you get tests done. This may seem unnecessary, but if even one of these tests can point to a problem that you’re developing, they’ll be able to catch it and treat it. This includes spine problems or problems that can affect your back and spine.
Incorporate all six of these tips into your life, and you’ll keep your spine happy and healthy.