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How to Relieve Back and Neck Pain With a Healthy Spine

healthy-spine

Do you suffer from aching back pain, nagging neck pain or even headaches? Having a healthy spine can prevent these types of problems. Your spine is a complicated structure full of vertebrae, discs, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Every second of every day your spine is moving in a delicate balance, even while you breath, which is exactly why you need to take care of it! Because when you take care of your spine it will take care of you.

 

Useful tips on how to have a healthy spine:

 

Eat Right

Nutrition plays a crucial role in having a healthy body and the same goes for your spine. Protein rebuilds spinal muscle tissue, ligaments and tendons. Healthy fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins and antioxidants needed to make your spine function. They rebuild bone, muscle and connective tissues that are constantly being used throughout the day.

 

Rest

Throughout the day your spine is compressed as you stand, sit and bend. Because of this, you can actually lose about ½ an inch over the course of a day. Adequate rest, in a good position, while sleeping will help you maintain a healthy spine. It’s ideal to start off lying in bed for the first 10 minutes on your side with your knees curled up, so that the discs in your spine can re-hydrate. Then continue sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs or roll onto your back with a pillow under your knees, for optimal sleep.

 

Stop Smoking

Many studies show that nicotine in cigarettes directly accelerates the breakdown of the discs in your spine and destroys the connective tissues that keep the joints in your spine moving properly. In addition, nicotine increases the inflammatory response in your body, which disrupts your body’s natural ability to repair itself.

 

Improve Your Flexibility and Strength

One of the best ways to avoid back pain or neck pain is to improve your spinal flexibility and strength. Your spine and body are designed to move. Because of this, it’s important that you keep your spine flexible by stretching for 10 minutes every day. It is best to get up and move around every hour when at work. We recommend getting up to go to the bathroom, get water, and to talk to your coworkers instead of emailing them. Stretch your spine out by reaching overhead and leaning over to one side, then the other. Also, work on gently twisting at your waist and don’t forget to stretch your hamstring muscles frequently. Additionally, spend 3-4 days a week working on your core strength by doing abdominal muscle exercises and squats to keep your spine and core muscles strong. These movements support your spine and allow you to move without stressing the discs or nerves in your back.

 

Improve Your Posture and Balance

Make sure that you sit properly with a straight-backed chair and your feet flat on the floor. Avoid sitting on very soft couches for prolonged periods of time because this puts your spine in a flexed position. Make sure that you keep your spine straight and that your use your legs when lifting heavy objects. A great way to enhance your balance is to stand on one leg at a time for 10 seconds 3-4 times a week.

 

Have a Spine Check-up

Have a Physical Therapist spine specialist check your spine alignment and function every 6 months to ensure that your back is moving how it should. Our Physical Therapists are the medical experts in helping your back operate as it should and relieving your back pain or neck pain quickly.

 

If your back pain is holding you back from doing the activities that you love to do, then come in for a check-up as soon as you can. Our clinics have immediate openings! Long term back aches and pains can lead to permanent spine damage, so catching back pain or neck pain early will encourage a healthy spine for life!