Good spinal health is crucial for your overall health. Your spine protects your central nervous system and any changes can disrupt the many systems that keep your body moving. Making small changes can have a big impact.
Our tips to keep your spine in top shape
1. Improve your posture
Sit up straight. When your posture is compromised your spine is vulnerable and your body is not working to its full potential. Slouching can lead to overuse of muscles and ligaments, abnormal wear and tear and just general unnatural stress on your various bodily systems. Remember to keep your ear, shoulder and hip aligned.
2. Exercise regularly
Human bodies need to move. There is no denying it! A lack of activity can lead to strain or stiffness of your spine. Regular walking, exercising, and stretching helps to keep your spine healthy.
3. Take a break from electronic devices
Ever feel a stiffness or pain in your neck? Constantly peering down at your phone or device is like putting the weight of a bowling ball on your upper spine. Put your phone away and be present in your surroundings for a while.
4. Lift heavy objects correctly
We are not just talking about heavy boxes, perhaps you have a heavy handbag, briefcase or even just lifting a little one. Your back muscles were not designed for extreme weight. The constant lifting puts pressure and strains your spine leading to back pain. Take care when doing every day lifting to keep your spine aligned, bend at the hips and use your legs to lift.
5. Ensure your spine is aligned during sleep
Chiropractors usually recommend sleeping on your back or side to keep the spine properly aligned. If you are a stomach sleeper choose a firm feel mattress to help stabilise your spine and stop curving while you sleep. Find a mattress that offers correct spinal support. King Koil by A.H. Beard mattresses are the only support system recommended by the International Chiropractors Association.
6. Quit smoking!
Smoking, affects nearly all tissues and systems in the body, increasing the risks of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and depression. But did you know it can also affect the health of your spine? The use of cigarettes limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that make their way up the spine. It also reduces your bone density which leads to weak bones more likely to fracture.
7. Teach your kids about spinal health
Encourage the next generation to look after their spines by educating them. Encourage your little ones to stay healthy, active and properly aligned.
8. Lead a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet, exercise and enough sleep will keep you and your spine happy.
9. Improve your core strength
Did you know your core muscles support your spine? A strong stable core will assist in your spine strength, practice core exercises often to keep your middle and back strong.
Try this circuit twice a day:
Plank: 30 seconds
Get in a push up position, with your forearms on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and core tight.
Back arch: 10-12 reps
Lay on your back, lift your hips, keep your back straight. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat.
Side plank: 30 seconds each side
Lie on your side, with your weight on your right elbow, which should be aligned directly under your right shoulder and your knees bent. Tighten your core and lift your hips off the ground. Hold this position. Switch sides when the rep is complete.
Bird dog: 10-12 reps
Start on your hands and knees. Extend one leg, hold for 5 seconds. For a more advanced option, extend your opposite arm.
10. Get professional advice on caring for your spine
Should you see a chiropractor even if you don’t have back pain? The answer is YES! Many people only think to see a chiropractor for neck and back pain or when something has gone wrong, instead of a way to prevent something from going wrong in the first place.