Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live- Jim Rohn. Your spine is so important and has so many functions! It provides structural support, balance, enables flexible movement, protects the spinal cord and the bodies vital internal organs. Here is 5 ways you can improve your spinal health!
- Regular Exercise: According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke you are at an increased risk of experiencing lower back pain if you are not active or physically fit. The best exercise routine for your back and neck is one that combines stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity. A study carried out showed that 90% of individuals who incorporated exercises into their daily lives drastically helped improve their posture and it also improved core stability over several weeks.
- Spinal Stretches : Keeping flexible helps maintain normal joint function and a good range of motion. It also reduces the risk of injury. The Chiropractic Association of Australia have a fantastic program called ‘Straighten Up Australia’. It is a 3 minute daily exercise program to improve your spinal health and the way your body functions. That’s right, only 3 MINUTES! So go on and help your back! You can get the “Straighten Up” App or go online to the Chiropractic Association of Australia website.
- Support Your Back When Lifting: It’s very easy to twist the wrong way and damage your spine if you don’t use proper form when lifting an object. We all occasionally try to carry too many bags to try and save time, but when you cause a strained muscle or back injury, the question you have to ask yourself is….. IS THE TIME YOU ARE TRYING TO SAVE REALLY WORTH IT WHEN YOU ARE CAUSING MORE PAIN & ARE DAMAGING YOUR SPINAL HEALTH? When lifting always make sure you bend your knees and keep your back neutral. Avoid any twisting and if the item is heavy, don’t try to lift it yourself- get help.
- Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep: While you’re lying down, all the structures in your spine that have worked hard all day finally have an opportunity to relax, repair and be rejuvenated. It is an important time for the body, so if we do not sleep properly, we can have a negative impact on not just your spinal health but overall health. Sleep on your side, not your stomach: Sleeping on your stomach puts too much pressure on your spine. You may need to invest in a supportive mattress or a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck.
- Be Mindful of Your Posture: Our backs are not designed to sit in one position for a very long time. We need to move around and changes positions because when we are immobile, we become sedentary and that increases spinal strain and our overall health. Have regular breaks where you can walk and stretch and customise your work station for you. Make sure you sit upright and avoid slouching.