Helpful Information

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Make for a Healthy Spine

We’re sure you’re seeing this and thinking – “Great…another New Year’s resolutions article.” But, hear us out! Your spine will continue to support you for the remainder of your life. So, why not make some simple changes this year to improve the health of your spine forever?

Below, we have outlined five New Year’s resolutions you can make for a healthy spine. Some of them may seem simple, while others may take more time to tackle. And as always, if you’re someone who suffers with back pain or other spinal issues, we recommend you speak to a spine specialist like Dr. Petersen before making any changes to your lifestyle. 

  1. Get Better Sleep: Sleep is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy spine. When you lay down, your spine is able to take a break from supporting your body for the entire day. Whether it’s finding proper pillows or purchasing a new mattress, do whatever you can to prepare your sleeping space for a good night of rest.
  2. Exercise for 30 Minutes a Day: There are many reasons why exercising is important, from improving cardiovascular health to strengthening the muscles that support your bones. When it comes to spine health, doing light, daily exercise can go a long way. We recommend starting with back and hamstring stretches, light ab exercises and brisk walking. 
  3. Quit Smoking: If you’re a smoker, there’s no better time than a new year to quit the habit. Smoking can increase your chances of developing degenerative spinal disorders and back pain due to vascular structure damage. [Source: Spine Health]
  4. Get More Steps In: Many of us spend the majority of our day sitting – whether at a desk, in the car or on the couch watching TV. This puts a lot of stress on our lower back. And, if we are at a computer or on our phone, we are likely hunching over which puts stress on our upper back, too. While it may not be feasible to get the 10K steps our smart watches recommend, you can help your spine by getting up throughout the day to take a short walk around the house or up the stairs.
  5. Eat More Greens: Like most of the other resolutions above, there are a lot of benefits to adding more greens to your diet, including improved digestion, cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight. Some greens, like broccoli and kale, are high in calcium which helps to strengthen your bones, decreasing your risk of osteoarthritis. While others, like spinach, are high in magnesium which is known to improve back pain. Whether you choose to add them to your smoothie or to your plate, we encourage you to make greens part of your diet in 2022.


Dr. Bendt P. Petersen is an orthopaedic and neurospine surgical specialist with over twenty years in operative clinical practice. He is a fellowship-trained surgeon whose practice is the only one in the Mobile-area devoted exclusively to the treatment of your spine.

The Center for Spine Health employs the most advanced operative and nonoperative therapies in concert with the most highly-trained physical therapists and other advanced ancillary practitioners to help you live the life you want to live.

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