Our spines are the foundational support for our entire body. How cool, right? But, like Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” To keep our spine powerful and able to do its job, it’s our responsibility to keep it happy and healthy.
Whether you’re currently dealing with spinal issues or want to prevent them, here are seven things you can do to keep your spine healthy.
1. Strengthen Your Core
Did you know that having a strong core helps to support your spine? Your core muscles, which are located in your lower back and abdomen, offer strength and support for your back and spine. But many of us don’t work those muscles on a regular basis. We recommend incorporating core strengthening and flexibility exercise into your exercise regime and/or daily routine. There are many helpful resources available online or you can consult a fitness professional for recommendations on specific exercises that are right for your body and fitness level.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excessive weight can cause stress to be put on your body, especially your spine. Maintaining a healthy weight, as indicated by your general physician, is important to your overall health. Exercise, reducing inflammatory foods, decreasing alcohol intake, and consulting with a nutritionist, dietician or other healthcare professional are all things you can do to begin managing your weight and, thus, saving your spine.
3. Purchase a Spine-Safe Mattress
If you’ve read any of our content, you already know how much we value sleep at Petersen Neurospine. Like maintaining a healthy weight, getting quality sleep improves your overall health. It also allows your spine time to heal and get rejuvenated for the day head. A spine-safe mattress is key to having spine-safe sleep. Check out our tips for buying a spine-safe mattress.
4. Stretch! Stretch! Stretch!
We’ve already mentioned strengthening your muscles as a way to help your spine, but stretching is just as important. A great way to add stretching to your routine is by practicing yoga. Here are five yoga poses that we recommend to help stretch the spine and alleviate back pain.
5. Splurge on Comfy Shoes
You heard it here first – get out your wallet and splurge on a nice new pair of shoes! Your shoes absorb the shock your body experiences while doing everyday activities such as running, walking and standing. If the shoes you are wearing don’t properly support your feet, protecting them from the shock absorption, then your spine could become compromised, leading to back pain. Here’s an in-depth article on how shoes affect your spine.
6. Hit Your Daily Stand & Step Goals
From step counters to FitBits and even your iPhone, there are many ways for you to keep track of how often you stand and how many steps you take throughout the day. Set your stand and step goals and try to hit them every single day. Adding movement and taking breaks from sitting are great ways to strengthen, lengthen and stretch your spine throughout the day.
7. See a Spine Specialist
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain that’s causing numbness in your extremities, bowel or bladder issues and increasing in pain, it’s time to see a spine specialist, like Dr. Petersen. Consulting a licensed professional for your pain is the number one way to keep your spine and back healthy for years to come.
ABOUT PETERSEN NEUROSPINE
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 non-operative 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.