Why Your Spine Is So Important and How to Take Care of It
Turns out, parents were on to something when they told us to stand up straight. Our spine plays a big role in our overall health and well-being. Our spines are made up of 24 moveable bones that support our weight, balance and movement. But its most important function is to protect our spinal cord and the nerves that branch out other parts of our body.
Spinal issues can begin as early as late twenties, but unfortunately some people have problems earlier due to sport injuries or bad posture. To prevent damage or injury to your spine, it’s important to strengthen it with exercise. Stretching daily and practicing proper posture while doing daily activities can be beneficial to overall spine health. Here are some easy tips you can incorporate into daily activities to help protect your spine.
When you’re in the sitting position on a chair, position your bottom straight against the back rest. Maintain a small space between the back of your knees and the front of the chair. Place your feet in front of you on the ground with your legs forming a 90-degree angle. Straighten your back by pulling your chest up and your shoulders back, as if you were in a standing position. Make it a point to maintain a level chin and relaxed mouth to avoid fatigue.
The way you sleep affects your spinal alignment and can cause pain and stiffness if you’re not positioned correctly. A firm mattress is recommended for the best spinal support. Avoid oversized pillows as this can shift the upper part of your spine over time.
The ideal pillow should be one that provides enough cushion to align your head with the rest of your spine. Sleeping on your side or back is optimal for maintaining good posture while you sleep. Avoid lying on your stomach for long periods as it can arch your back.
When lifting heavy objects, avoid lifting from the side or on your back. Place the load in front of you and proceed to lift with your knees bent or in a squatting or lunge position while keeping your back in a neutral position. Avoid twisting or slouching when lifting and lowering. Lift slowly and carefully to your chest with each movement.
Before getting into your exercise routine, start with stretches that will protect your back. Some recommended stretches that are good for your spine include yoga poses such as cat and cow pose, downward dog, hip flexor stretch and reverse bridge pose. Overall, Yoga can be very beneficial to help loosen spinal tension and help you correct your posture.
Practicing exercise using light weights and doing push-ups can also help strengthen your back muscles and open up your spine along with squats, leg lifts, side bridge, curl ups, and pallof presses. It’s important to tailor your workout routine to what works best for your body type and weight.
Make small daily strides toward good posture and a healthier life with these simple steps. Have more questions? Contact our team today to begin your journey of better spine health!