Back and neck pain affects millions of Americans every day and interferes with their lives. At Colorado Spine & Scoliosis in Littleton, we want to help change that. In addition to the medical help we can give you, there are also simple lifestyle suggestions that can help you have less back and neck pain. Here are 7 tips for a healthy spine.
Your spine includes your back and neck. You can make some basic changes in how you move and hold yourself, as well as some healthy habits that can decrease or prevent pain in your spine.
Tip One: Learn to lift in the right way.
Start by learning to lift objects the right way. Get as close to the object you are lifting as you can. Use the strength of your legs instead of your back or upper body to lift it. Remember to bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the object. Always try and keep your back straight. If the object is just too heavy, wait and get help to lift it.
Tip Two: Sleep on your side.
Sleep is always important in order to allow the body to repair itself. A good supportive mattress is very important, just be sure to turn it regularly. Try to sleep on your side and avoid sleeping on your stomach, because it puts too much pressure on your spine.
Tip Three: Stretch before you exert.
Stretching helps your back and neck. If you can stay flexible it will help to keep better joint function with a good range of motion and prevent injury. Believe it or not, a lot of back pain problems are caused by tight hamstrings, which are the muscles in the backs of your legs. If you don’t stretch your hamstrings they will pull on the bottom of your pelvis and rotate it back. This stresses your spine and articulations (where bones connect). Include some stretching in your daily routine and it will help prevent injury.
Tip Four: Move around.
Whatever you enjoy actively doing, keep it up. Moving around helps your spine. If it can include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity, it is even better. Being active can also help you lose weight. Belly fat can put added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your lower back. So continue to exercise for spinal health.
Tip Five: Drink plenty of water.
Your soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints need hydration. The spinal discs can lose height if they there isn’t proper hydration. If the discs start to shrink, your spine is vulnerable to painful disc conditions such as bulging or ruptures, and if the spine loses its protective padding, it creates a loss of the spine’s structural health.
Tip Six: Ergonomic workspace.
Proper ergonomics can help reduce stiff backs, headaches, carpal tunnel and sciatica. When you are working on your computer, talking on the phone, or even driving in your car make sure your work area is at the best for your height and functionality. Make sure you have a chair with back support. It’s best if your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your feet are on the floor. Try not to squeeze the phone between your ear and shoulder as this can create neck pain. No matter what you’re doing, take short breaks.
Tip Seven: Listen to your body.
If you are feeling back or neck pain, your body could be sending you warning signs. You need to listen. Try not to overdo a workout, stand or sit with bad posture, and don’t self-medicate for reoccurring pain.
At Colorado Spine & Scoliosis in Littleton, we recommend a few simple lifestyle changes that can help relieve your back and neck pain. If you can add these 7 tips for a healthy spine into your daily routine, you can possibly avoid the daily back and neck pain that affects millions of Americans. And if you’re already suffering from pain, call or contact us today to discuss treatment options. We’re here to help!