New Year, New Spine
The New Year is here! Have you thought about your New Year’s resolution yet? Most people like to cut back on chocolate or get to the gym more, but here’s a different idea: why not focus on taking better care of your spine? If you think about it, your spine is the structural groundwork for your body. Your spine provides support, balance, and enables motion. It is also the protector of your spinal cord, nerve roots, and internal organs. The spine is a lot more important than we think! Wondering what you can do to boost your spinal health? We have a few tips to help you get started.
Rest and Sleep
Neck and back strain are common during rest and sleep. If you’re a stomach-sleeper, this puts way too much pressure on your spine. Sometimes we fall asleep in strange positions or angles and wake up achy, asking ourselves, “Did I sleep the wrong way?” We strongly advise against sleeping on your stomach and to instead sleep on your back or side. It’s also important that your pillow supports your neck and head so that everything is neutral with your spine.
Before lifting something, you first need to ask yourself, “Is this object too heavy for me to lift?” If yes, it is always safer to ask someone for help. If no, you still need to pay attention to how you lift the object. Lifting objects improperly is the most common way to injure your spine. Always use your leg muscles to lift, never your back. Be sure to also keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. You should never twist while picking something up and you should always set the object down the same way you lifted it.
Talking and Texting on the Phone
Do you find yourself on the phone a lot? This can also affect your spine. If you need to speak on the phone for an extended period, using the speaker function or a headset is recommended to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Tilting your head towards your shoulder can damage muscles and vertebrae. Similarly, when you’re texting, keep your neck and back straight with the device at chest or eye level. You should never slump or hunch.
Working at a Desk
If you work in an office setting, chances are you don’t get to move around as much as your body would like to. Investing in an office chair with lower back support can make all the difference for your spinal health. Also be sure that when you’re sitting, your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at a ninety-degree angle. Your computer screen should always be at eye-level. It’s important that your desk, computer, and chair are set up for your specific height and functionality. Once your environment is ergonomic-friendly, we recommend you transition from sitting to standing periodically throughout the day. Even the simplest stretches at your desk can prove beneficial.
Nutrition, Hydration, and Exercise
Excess weight puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your spine. It’s vital that you do your best to support a healthy weight by eating nutritious food and exercising at least three times a week. Staying hydrated is also very important because this is how you maintain the elasticity in your soft tissue, fluidity in your joints, and most importantly, the hydration in your spinal discs. Without hydration, your spinal discs will shrink and cause a whole host of other problems, such as a herniated disc.
If you want to add an extra edge to your overall spinal health, you can always schedule an appointment with our office for chiropractic adjustments. These keep you on a consistent track to good spinal health, but also your chiropractor will monitor or notice any issues going on. Treat your spine and schedule an appointment with us today!