Ten Steps for Maintaining a Healthy Spine



Ten Steps for Maintaining a Healthy Spine
January 17, 2014

The Importance of a Healthy Spine

With a healthy spine it is true that you are less likely to feel episodes of back or neck pain, but did you know keeping your spine in good health has much more impact on your life?

The role your spine plays in the human anatomy

  1. Provides protection for the spinal cord and nerves that exit it.
  2. Support for our body (allowing us to stand in an upright position).
  3. Helps our body move and flex in many different directions.
  4. Provides the foundation of which the shoulders and pelvic region of the human body attach to.
  5. Structures and components of the spine act as shock absorbers when impact or heavy lifting is performed
  6. A base for the rib attachments that protect vital organs.

With all these roles that the human spine plays in your daily life it should be quite clear why spine health should be a great concern for you. Below are 10 ways you can help to maintain your spines health, and being that a new year is upon us, why not start now.

Ten Tips to Help Maintain Spinal Health

  1. Exercise Regularly – Routinely exercising helps to promote a healthy, strong, stable spine. Not only does exercise help with your spinal health, your overall health will see many benefits as well. Even a daily walk can make a great change in you.
  2. Eat Healthy – Nutrition plays a large role in the development and repair of spinal tissues. By following a healthy diet you should be less susceptible to injury, or when they do occur, you will likely heal quicker.
  3. Supportive Mattress – The average person spends a third of their life sleeping. It only makes sense that you support your body properly during this time to get the best restorative sleep you can. Find a mattress and pillow that is firm enough to support your body and help keep your spine in alignment.
  4. Takes Breaks or Change Positions Frequently – Change your position you are standing or sitting in to help prevent the muscles in your body from stiffening up. Periodically take a break and have a small stretch to help loosen those cramping muscles.
  5. Lift properly – Be sure that if you are going to be lifting something you do it properly. Bend at your knees and keep your back straight as you lift the object. Use your leg muscles to lift the object, not your back!
  6. Office Ergonomics – Speak with a manager to learn proper ergonomics that help relieve stress and tension placed on not only your back, but the rest of your body as well.
  7. Lose Weight – There are two ways that excess weight may affect the health of your spine. The more mass your body has, the more pressure is being placed on the spine and its tissue. This can make it easier for you to injure one or more of the structures of your spine. If you have a large belly, the weight of it may actually pull your spine forward out of alignment, leading to some painful back conditions.
  8. Avoid or Stop Smoking – For your spine to stay healthy it needs a good flow of blood rich with nutrients. Smoking not only may cause inflammation, but it may also cause blood vessel disease that may inhibit the blood flow to many parts of the body, including your back. Plus, smoking is bad for your overall health.
  9. Stay Well Hydrated – drinking water and staying well hydrated helps the tissues in your body stay strong as well as better repair themselves when they are damaged.
  10. Strengthen Your Core Muscles – The core muscles of your back help to support your spine and keep it aligned properly. Strengthening your abdominal, as well as mid and lower back muscles, will help provide the support your spine requires.

These 10 tips for a healthy back will help you maintain good spinal health and keep your spine functioning the way it was designed to. You are likely to notice less flare ups of back or neck pain as well as feeling generally healthy. Although you may have mistreated your spine in the past, it is not too late to form new habits that will help build and keep the support you need.