The British Columbia Chiropractic Association named May 01-07 National Spinal Health Week, and to round off this week of awareness of the spine here are 7 tips to a healthy spine.
- Invest in a Good Pillow and Mattress: We spend approximately one third of our lives sleeping, proper support of the spine will not only allow you to have a better sleep but strongly influences spine health. When you sleep you do not have conscious control over your body position, so start the night off right by either sleeping on your back or on your side.A good mattress will support the spine no matter how many times one moves during the night.
- Listen to Your Back: Avoid positions and activities which contribute to increased back pain or cause back pain radiating down the legs. If you are involved in an activity that causes or increases back pain, think about what you can change to alleviate the pain. Your body will usually tell you what it needs if you take time to listen to it.
- Drink Water: An adequate amount of water is vital to good health. The musculoskeletal tissues require water to function and to repair themselves.
- Increase Abdominal Strength: The abdominal muscles help support the low back and pelvis and surround about 2/3 of the lower part of the body. Strengthening the abdominal muscles will increase spinal stability and reduce the risk for spine injury.
- Use Proper Lifting Techniques: Proper lifting technique will reduce the risk for spine injury. Keep the back straight and bend the legs and hips when lifting; this reduces stress on the back. Avoid lifting objects higher than your waist whenever possible and do not twist while lifting. Face the object you wish to lift and when lifting hold the objects close to your body.
- Wear Proper Shoes and Footwear: We take anywhere from 5,000 – 8,000 steps a day. Proper foot and ankle support will reduce stress upon the knees and hips as well as the back.
- Learn to Relax: Relaxing allows you to manage stress both on the job and off the job helping to reduce muscle tightness and tension.
While these are only some of the tips you can take to better improve your spine, if you are already suffering from back pain or want to know how you you can prevent it from occurring, regular spinal health checks are a great idea. It is much easier to prevent a problem than resolve one. Book your spinal health check appointment today!