Spine health is something people don’t think about enough. The spine is the pillar of the body. It provides the foundation for the rest of your body to stand and move. The spine works hard every day, but what is the best way to keep a strong and healthy spine? Read below to learn 5 ways to improve and preserve your spine’s health.
1. Let your spine really rest while sleeping.
Lying down is the spine’s chance to finally take a rest after holding you up all day. To make the most of this time, you need a comfortable mattress and pillow. Without it, there is no way for proper rest.
Some tips to consider when sleeping include:
Use a firm or medium-firm mattress. It is beneficial to have a firm or medium-firm mattress to support your spine. This is because an older or soft mattress will allow for the spine to sag.
Keep your spine naturally aligned. If you are a back sleeper, putting a pillow behind your knees can help reduce the stress on your lower back. If you are a side sleeper, putting the pillow between your knees can keep the hips balanced. Speak with your doctor about what the best position is for you.
2. Exercise your core to strengthen your abs and back muscles.
Your core muscles, located in your lower back and abdomen, need to be strong and supple. This is to help support your spine and take pressure off your lower back. Unfortunately, the average person does not use their core muscles enough to keep them tight and strong. Target-specific exercises can be a great way to help keep those muscles strong. It is important to create an exercise chart with your doctor or physical therapist.
3. Your shoes need to support your spine.
No matter the reason you are walking, having shoes that support you is extremely important. Good shoes are a necessary piece to creating a supportive base for your spine and body. If you are flat-footed, having extra support in the base of the foot may be a great way to avoid or assist in helping lower back pain.
4. Enjoy the benefits of massage.
A good massage can help assist in the pain of spinal issues. Some benefits of a massage can include increased blood flow, loosened muscles, and connective tissues, and even blooming feelings of relaxation. A moderate-level massage can offer more stress-relief benefits than a light-touch massage, although it may cause a bit more in-the-moment pain.
5. Practice good ergonomics while sitting and limit total sitting time.
The lower back, specifically the discs in it, are under a lot more stress when sitting. This means that prolonged sitting can create or aggravate your back condition. This can be a big problem for those who work in an office setting or find themselves sitting at a desk for a long time. It is a natural tendency to slouch and lean forward, but this can cause great stress on the lumbar discs. Selecting the right office chair or putting extra support into a chair can help avoid some issues.
Learn More About Spine Health
At the National Spine Health Foundation, we know that the health of your spine is vital to helping you live the life you enjoy. Learn more about our amazing doctors and surgeons and how to keep the health of your spine in optimal shape!