9 Ways to Pamper your Spine
As important as our Spine may be, it’s one of those things we really don’t think about unless something is wrong. Unfortunately, this mindset and lack of attention can lead to spine injury and complications.
At our Chiropractic office in Brick, NJ, patients are always asking what kind of measures they can take to ensure spine health. Fortunately for you, Dr. Koziol of the Back and Neck Center of Brick, has 10 easy tips to pamper your spine. Not only will these tips help your spine, but they can improve your overall health and quality of life.
1. BE SURE TO EXERCISE
It seems like exercise can help with any health issue you may be facing, and spine issues are no exception. Not only can exercise help you prevent spine issues, but exercise can also help rehabilitate an injured spine.
You don’t need to be a fitness expert in order to benefit from regular exercise. Implementing a simple exercise regimen that focuses on stretching and strengthening the back, hamstrings, and core muscles can be an effective way to distribute nutrients into your spinal discs and soft tissues, boosting the healing process, and keeping your discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.
2. ENGAGE YOUR MIND
Your mind is essentially the body’s computer, and if it’s not calm, relaxed, and focused, the body will not run properly.
If you suffer from aches and pains, studies suggest that some quiet meditation can deliver significant relief. It’s not hard to achieve this, all you need is a quiet dark space where you can focus your energy for 15 minutes.
Try focusing on one thought at a time, mostly thoughts of happiness, gratefulness, and gratitude. You might want to envision yourself with the day off, lying on the beach, happy about accomplishing your goals. Not only can meditation help relieve you of your aches and pains, it can also help you achieve your long and short term goals.
3. ADJUST YOUR SITTING POSTURE
Your spine has a series of natural curves, and if you spend most of your time sitting in a chair, you may be damaging sensitive spinal nerves.
There are simple measures you can take to give your back a break. First on the list would be buying an ergonomic chair to supply the proper support for your spine.
You could also invest in a standing desk. These are quite popular and aren’t too expensive. A standing desk easily elevates so you can stand while working. This simple adjustment gives your back, butt, and legs a break from sitting.
Lastly, try to get up every other hour and take a walk around the office, do a little stretching. This method is free, and it also gives you an excuse to take a break.
If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of prolonged sitting, please reference our, “Sitting is the New Smoking” article.
4. TAKE A WALK
Walking is another one of those things that seems to be a solution to most problems. There are too many benefits to list, but in short, walking will strengthen your core muscles, nourish your spinal, improve flexibility, and strengthen your bone structure.
If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure to visit your doctor before beginning a walking regime. Often a doctor will recommend that you start off slowly, and walk as much as you can tolerate.
If you’re new to walking, or recovering from an injury, you may want to go on short walks a couple of time a day instead of one log walk. If your pain is severe, you might want to consider walking in a pool to relieve the pressure on your spine.
5. YOUR PILLOW
Sleeping is one of the most important contributors to your overall health. While we sleep, our body repairs and recharges. So if you are not comfortable while sleeping, you will find yourself tossing and turning, missing out on important healing sleep.
If you’re uncomfortable while sleeping, the first place to look is your pillow. You need a pillow that is going to support the natural curvature of your spine. It must also be sized specifically for your height and shoulder width, while being customized for the position you sleep in. For example, if you sleep on your side, you’re going to want a thicker pillow so your head and neck will be aligned in between your shoulders.
If you can maintain proper alignment while sleeping, you’ll have less aches and pains, and you’ll also experience uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.
6. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Your diet is another pillar of good spine health. Try building a nutritional plan mostly comprised of natural foods like, vegetables, fruits, meats, whole grains, and legumes. The goal is to ultimately erase processed foods from your diet entirely, and limit sweets to an occasion treat.
Also, try to eat foods that are nutrient rich, specifically calcium and other vitamins that can boost spine health and even prevent conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
As a result of a proper nutrition, you should maintain a healthy weight which is essential to the health of your spine. The more weight you carry around, the more stress it places on your spine. So stay determined to eat right and your spine will thank you.
7. EXERCISE IN WATER
Exercising in a pool is particularly beneficial for people already suffering from an injury or at high risk, such as senior citizens. Water reduces downward stress of gravity as the buoyancy of water helps support your spine, as a result, dramatically reducing the chance of injury. An extra bonus to pool exercising is that the water provides gentle resistance to provide a safe but challenging range of motion.
Water therapy usually is taught in warm water which we know from an earlier part of this article that the warmth of the water will promote circulation and sooth our joints.
8. QUIT SMOKING
As if you didn’t have enough reasons to quit smoking, add spinal disorders and back pain to the already long list of ailments that smoking can cause. Smoking increases your odds of spinal disorders becuase smoking damages the vascular structures of your discs and joints.
Quitting smoking will help you in dozens of ways and these days, there are so many products, support groups, strategies and medications that can help you achieve this goal. If you only do one thing on this list, let be quitting smoking.
9. LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS
Lifting heavy objects the wrong way is the easiest and quickest way to hurt yourself. In addition to lower back injuries, improper lifting may cause your spinal joints to lock or cause your spinal discs to rupture.
When lifting heavy objects, always remember to keep your chest forward and lead with your hips rather than your shoulders.
We hope you found this article useful. As always, if you live in the Brick, Toms River, or Ocean County area, and are in search of a Chiropractor, the Back and Neck Center of Brick has been serving patients for over 27 years. We are also happy to say that we have been voted best chiropractors in Ocean County, 9 years in a row by readers of the Asbury Park Press! Schedule an appointment today to see how we can help.