It’s unfortunate that so many people don’t care to prioritise their spine health until they suffer the consequences of this blatant neglect. Spinal stenosis, slip disc, and several other spine-related problems lead to back spasms, neck pain, and pain in upper and lower back regions.
You may experience mild to excruciating pain depending on your diagnosis, however, the underlying issue typically remains the same – your spine health has been compromised one way or another.
Today, many individuals make the mistake of living with back/neck pain as long as it is tolerable. This allows one’s condition to worsen over time, often to the point where it disrupts their normal life. Therefore, back and/or neck pain should never be left unchecked, nor should patients resort to over-the-counter medication as a long-term treatment for the same.
If you are looking for ways to alleviate back and neck pain or simply prevent such aches in the future, it’s important to take care of your spine starting now!
Here are six fairly simple ways to improve your spine health.
1. Correct Your Posture
One of the most common causes of a deformed spine is bad posture. Slouching and forward head posture are two very bad habits that alter the natural shape of your spine over time, putting it at a higher risk of injury. To correct your posture and avoid the many negative effects that come with poor posture, first assess your everyday routine. If you spend a lot of time sitting down or in front of a computer, make sure that you are practising good ergonomics. Use a back brace to keep your posture in check, and use an adjustable chair so that your eyes and screen are on the same level.
You should also pay attention to your posture when walking or standing; remember, your shoulders should always be pushed back and parallel to your ears. Use these tips on a daily basis and before you know it, your posture will improve significantly.
2. Strengthen Your Back Muscles & Core
Your spine needs to have adequate support from your back muscles and core; without it, the spine is subjected to a lot more stress than it can handle. This, in turn, leads to a number of disc-related problems including painful spasms.
Targeted exercises that strengthen your back muscles and core should be incorporated in your weekly schedule as often as possible. If not daily, 3-4 for times a week, you should work on building up your muscles so that your cervical spine is supported properly while including minimal ab exercises to relieve your lower back of excess pressure and the overall strain it bears on a daily basis (especially while sitting down).
3. Allow Your Spine to Rest Properly
The only time your spine gets to rest is when you lie down; however, some mattresses and sleeping positions compromise your spine’s ability to recover from an entire day of work. When this happens, you are doing more damage to your spine when, in fact, you should be resting it properly.
To ensure that your spine gets the rest and recovery it requires every night, you need to sleep on a mattress that is firm, and provides adequate support for the natural shape of the spine. Soft mattresses are never recommended as they allow the spine to sag, and offer little to no support. Another useful tip to align your spine while sleeping is to place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back. Similarly, if you turn on either of your sides, place a pillow between your knees to alleviate stress on your hips and tailbone.
4. Get Regular Back Massages
Along with feeling great, massage therapy has a number of benefits. It can help repair connective tissues, release knots, loosen up tight muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce mental stress. Some of these benefits also help to keep your spine healthy, and increase your body’s ability to heal itself.
There are various types of back massages you can get including a deep tissue massage and low-moderate intensity massage. The former uses intense pressure that is required to release tight muscles and knots in the back; while it may be a bit painful to endure, the post-massage benefits are worth it. Moderate-level massages are also beneficial in relieving pain, stiffness, and stress in the upper and lower back region while low-pressure massages are generally intended for relaxation.
5. Choose the Right Shoes for Your Spine
Not all shoes offer the support your lower back requires, nor do they keep your spine naturally aligned. Over time, wearing the wrong shoes takes a toll on your back and spine which is followed by a string of negative effects on your body. This is especially true when walking and exercising, or performing a strenuous task. Without the right support, your spine will receive the impact that is actually intended for specific muscles in the body.
To find the right shoes for your spine, look for pairs that offer a supportive base. This will ensure that your spine is properly aligned while walking/running, standing, or exercising. The fit of the shoes is also critically important; the heel area should not be tight or loose. Basically, the shoes need to allow your feet to maintain their natural range of motion (as if you are not wearing shoes at all).
6. Visit a Chiropractor for Spinal Manipulation
The primary purpose of chiropractic adjustments is to realign your spine which, in turn, puts your body in an optimal position to heal itself. Thanks to the many different techniques used in spinal manipulation and other chiropractic care treatments, over time, patients are able to regain their natural spinal curves while alleviating back pain and improving rotary movements as well.
It is advisable to visit your chiropractor regularly to ensure that your spine health is being maintained. The professional can also assess other related health issues you may be experiencing, and advise subsequent treatment for the same.
The importance of a healthy spine must be prioritised at the earliest to avoid painful spine-related problems. To address your spine health and receive proper treatment and advice on improving your spine health, visit or contact MSK Therapy today!