Five Tips for Spinal Health

The following tips for spinal health can be easily implemented and greatly improve one’s quality of life.  For most of us, we will experience some type of spinal pain and discomfort during our lifetime.  It does not always have to be related to an injury, and most of us accept it as the natural progression of aging

But this doesn’t have to be—with the following these five tips for spinal health you can minimize, or altogether eliminate your chronic back conditions.  In fact, the best medicine is preventing these ailments to the spine before they even occur.

While Standing Still

You may feel this is simply a perfectly natural activity and it can be if done properly. Keep these in mind especially when standing in long lines, at concerts or other similar activities.

  • Maintain a healthy, natural stance are one of the most important things you can do to maintain and improve spinal health.
  • Allow knees to be slightly bent. Always keeping one foot in front of the other makes for less pressure being put on the spine.
  • Maintain a level head – If standing for long periods keep your head forward and not at an awkward tilt.  This includes periods of cell phone use.  Try bringing the phone up to your eyesight rather than tilting neck and head down.  

Sitting Properly for Spinal Health

  • Keep knees lower than hips
  • Sit erect, avoid slouching
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time.  The discs in your lower spine are loaded with three times as much pressure while in the seated position compared to standing.
    • Try walking/stretching every 30 mins or so.

Reaching/ Bending

  • Bend at the knees, not at the waist.
  • Do not carry heavy loads on your own!
  • When reaching for items high on a shelf, use a step ladder.  Long, unnatural stretches to the vertebrae can cause strains in the mid and lower back.

Sleeping to Maximize Spinal Health

  • Consider sleeping on your side.  Sleeping on your back puts nearly 50 pounds of pressure on your back. Sleeping on one’s stomach can be equally concerning.
  • This is a critical time for spinal health as it allows your back to rest from the stresses of the day.  This eight hours of rejuvenation allows you to take on the physical stresses of the next day.

Technology

  • When on the phone never pinch the device between your ears and shoulders.  Go wireless or use a headset whenever possible.
  • When seated at your laptop or desktop make certain both feet are firmly flat on the floor.  Use a footrest if that is more comfortable and ensure your knees are below your hips.

*** Bonus Tips

  • Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight.
  • Core strengthening of the back and abdominals muscles is critical. These are the key muscle groups that support the spine and prevent injury.
  • Good Footwear.
    • They provide the support and the base needed to keep your spine and body aligned. 
  • Ensure a good fit, snug, but not too tight is the best fit for walking or running.

Massage Therapy

  • This is part of holistic healing therapy that will release positive endorphins into your system.
  • This can relieve built-in tension and pressure in the muscle, myofascial tissue nerve ending in the region. 
  • Massaging promotes increased circulation that carry much-needed nutrients for health and repair.