Your spine is a major pillar within the body. It plays a vital role in keeping you moving through your daily life. There is a myriad of reasons why one should be mindful of spine health. This all-too-important central support structure impacts so much more than just our ability to keep the back upright. Let’s take a look at why spine health is crucial and how to better tend to it.
Why is Spine Health So Important?
The spine is a key structure within the musculoskeletal system. Your daily life wouldn’t be possible without the support of your spine. It allows you to complete all functional movements such as bending over, walking, twisting, and moving your neck. When the spine is compromised, simple tasks such as getting out of bed or taking a shower can become difficult.
Your spine serves three main functions in your body:
- Supporting balance and an upright posture
- Protecting the spinal cord and nerve roots
- Allowing flexible, easy motion
A healthy body and a healthy spine go hand in hand. Since the spinal cord has a direct connection to the spinal cord, it plays a role in all of the body’s functions. This focal point of the central nervous system can play a role in mental health, hormone balance, and mood. If there’s something off in the spine, it could lead to lowered energy, headaches, poor sleep, and more.
Tips for Better Spine Health
There are plenty of ways to achieve better spine health. With a proactive approach, it’s possible to build up and maintain a strong, flexible spine that will help you move through your day and keep up with your ideal lifestyle.
Keep It Moving
Movement and exercise are key when it comes to spine health. Not only can it help with maintaining health, but it can also assist in rehabilitating an injured spine. There are many options for strengthening this region of the body.
When focusing on spine health, you’ll want to target the back, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles. You can do so by taking up activities such as yoga, biking, pilates, or any other full-body exercise. If you’re looking for a low-impact option, try swimming or other water exercises. Ideally, pick an activity that you enjoy enough to do for 30 minutes every day.
Practice Healthy Office Habits
Working at an office can wreak havoc on a healthy spine. The body is not well-equipped for sitting in one position for hours at a time – especially if proper posture isn’t maintained. Sitting can increase the load on your spinal discs by about 40%. Over time, it can cause pain, spinal nerve inflammation, or compression.
It’s important to incorporate movement into your workday, too. Make an effort to get up and move around every hour. Short walks, stretches, and even simply standing can support healthy spine health at the office. If you have the means, a standing desk or desk with a stationary bike attached could be a great way to achieve better posture and strength in the back and spine.
Studies show that meditation can be an invaluable tool in the effort to fight chronic back pain. The mind is a powerful force. Chronic pain can trigger fear and anxiety that may inadvertently harm the body even more. Mastering the mind can reframe symptoms. Since pain is subjective and unique to the person experiencing it, there is some room to shift your perspective and alleviate pain. While mindfulness alone can’t cure back pain, it may help you reduce cortisol levels and gain a more optimistic outlook on your situation.
Choose a Good Pillow
You sleep on your pillow every night. It makes sense that this all too integral part of your sleep ritual could affect the neck and spine. Be mindful of how your pillow choice may impact your spine health.
The position you tend to sleep in most will determine what the best pillow for you might be:
- If you’re a side sleeper, a thicker pillow will be your friend. It will help your head and neck remain positioned in the middle of your shoulders. It could also be helpful to place a pillow between your legs to relieve lower spine pressure.
- If you’re a back sleeper, a pillow of medium thickness or even a flat pillow is best. This will help to assure your head isn’t too high. An additional pillow under the knees could be useful in supporting the appropriate curvature of the low back.
- It is not recommended that you sleep on the belly or curled tightly in the fetal position. These positions can put pressure on the spine and lead to injury or pain.
It’s well known that smoking can have a host of negative impacts on an individual’s lungs. The same is true for the spine and joints at large. Smoking can increase the odds of developing degenerative spinal disorders. As the issue continues to compound, damage to the vascular structures of the spinal discs and joints will lead to back pain. Smoking is also tied to rheumatoid arthritis. Cutting out this bad habit can help support better spine health.
Indulge in a Massage
Massages aren’t just a decadent way to treat yourself – they can also help to keep your back and spine healthy. Getting regular massages can increase blood flow, loosen connective tissue and tight muscles, and increase relaxation. We recommend opting for a moderate-level massage. This pressure level offers the optimal amount of stress and pain relief.
How Does Going to a Chiropractor Help?
Making chiropractic adjustments a part of your wellness routine is another great way to maintain spine health and phase out pain medications. Chiropractic care bolsters your body’s innate ability to heal itself and thrive. By utilizing gentle and specific adjustments, your chiropractor will help to realign the spine, encourage proper motion, and optimize your nervous system’s ability to adapt to stress.
With regular chiropractic adjustments, tension in the joints, muscles, and nerves will start to fade. With consistent chiropractic adjustments, your spine health will not only improve, but the overall function of your body will improve as we reduce interference between the brain and body. A healthy, well-aligned spine can reduce headaches. When your joints are better aligned, it can reduce how much your bones rub together. This can slow the degeneration of cartilage which leads to osteoarthritis.
What Makes Elevate Chiropractic Different?
Elevate Chiropractic is here to help you achieve better spine health! We recognize that it isn’t just about your spine; the goal is to tend to this pillar of your body so you can maintain your ideal way of life. Our holistic approach will help you get back to the activities that you love, and elevate your overall lifestyle!
When you come to our office, you’ll be greeted by our friendly, top-tier staff. You can relax with a cup of coffee in our homey lobby as you wait for your adjustment. Since we use standardized adjustment tools, you will receive consistent care regardless of which doctor you see. Once you get to a place where you’re feeling the benefits of your adjustments, you can complete your care routine remotely.
We look forward to helping you level up your spine health! Get in touch today for your complimentary consultation!