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Healthier spine

Did you know that spinal problems can start as early as 29? No longer an age-related problem, it may get worse as we get older. Maintaining optimum spine health, irrespective of age, is critical, and there are no doubts about that. An unhealthy spine can wreak havoc on the body in more ways than one can imagine. It is critical to understand that spine is a part of the central nervous system as well as an essential component of the core of a human body.

A weak spine disturbs the normal functioning of the entire human body. A chronic low back pain can affect the daily routine and psychological well being. Conditions such as back and neck pain, numbness, weakness in the arms and legs, impaired breathing and digestion, and reducing control of the bowel and bladder are outcomes of having an unhealthy spine. While everyday stresses combined with aging may cause spine degeneration, taking few daily preventive steps will help you keep your spine healthy and possibly avoid surgery in later years.

Banish that back pain, protect yourself with regular exercisespine-exercise

There’s no denying the importance of regular exercise. Apart from keeping excess weight off our body, it helps strengthen the core muscles. Simple activities like stretching, walking, bicycling, swimming, yoga and weight training offer great health benefits. However, the key to reaping these benefits is consistency. It is never too early or late to start on an exercise regimen. A physiotherapist may be helpful in teaching the right exercise.  A supervised and graded exercises plan can help you to enhance the core muscles and maintain a good lumbar support. Exercises should not be limited to just the back muscles, a plan comprised of proprioception, agility, balance, strength and stabilization is essential to maintain even a  good functional stability.  But, before you start or resume an exercise after a long gap, make sure to get yourself thoroughly assessed by an expert. Irrespective of age, yoga, pilates and maintenance exercises are necessary to keep up the strength and stability achieved.  

good-postureAlways practice good posture

While exercising regularly is critical, it makes for a very small part of our day. In other words, practicing good posture becomes the second most important part of spine health. Haven’t we all heard our mother saying ‘sit up and stop slouching’ throughout our growing years? It turns out, she was right! Slouching is one of the several reasons why about 80% of people develop spinal problems in their lifetime. Apart from giving a taller appearance, better breathing, improved well-being and increased energy levels, proper posture also has other health benefits. Good posture can help you avoid weight gain, heartburn, anxiety as well as migraines. Exercise and let your body involuntarily learn the correct posture.

Better ergonomics at workplace

If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long hours, make sure to get up from your chair and take small breaks. This will help improve blood circulation in the body, avoid putting undue stress on the spine and relax you. Also, make sure your laptop/desktop is kept at the same level as your eyes to avoid any stress in the neck. The advice also goes for when you use your smartphones – don’t look down, bring your phone up! Adopting a good ergonomic change in your workstation may support your spine well and reduce the biomechanical stress on the intravertibral disc.

What you eat impacts your spine, too

A well-balanced diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods and an adequate amount of vitamin-D keeps your muscle mass intact and the bones strong. You may want to include essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidant as dietary supplements, as researches have shown that it decreases the back and nerve pain.  Water intake is an essential part of the balanced diet, well hydrated spine is a healthy spine.

Get your daily dose of sun

The early morning sunshine not only wakes us up but also energizes us instantly. The work culture these days doesn’t allow sufficient time for exposure to sun during working hours. Exposure to sunlight for 20-30 minutes in the day is essential for production of Vitamin D by our body. This in turn helps to maintain a good bone health. So it’s time to grab your lunch, take of your coat, roll-up your sleeves and find a bench under the sun.  

Spine health also depends on several other factors

Smoking is bad for your spine. Quit smoking for a better, healthier you. Also, invest in a more supportive mattress or try a new sleeping position if you have trouble with your back in the morning.

With so many simple ways to ensure spinal health for life, start taking care of it now!

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