Helpful Information

American Heart Month & Why Spinal Care is Important for Heart Health

When most see a heart during the month of February they think of Valentine’s Day. But, did you know that February is also American Heart Month? The goal of this initiative is to empower people to take control of their heart health by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. 

We see a correlation between poor spinal care and poor heart health nearly everyday. In this blog, we are going to share how these two parts of our bodies work together as well as ways you can better the health of both your spine and your heart.

How Your Spine Affects Your Heart

Your spine houses neural pathways that support nearly every system in our body – including our cardiovascular system. Meaning, when something is out of whack with your back, your heart can get out of rhythm, theoretically speaking. Conditions such as high blood pressure can often be caused by issues relating to the back. It’s also important to note that upper back pain is one of the most common signs of a heart attack in women. While upper back pain is most often attributed to straining or poor posture, upper back pain could mean that you’re having or will soon have a heart attack. Lastly, severe, untreated cases of scoliosis can lead to respiratory and heart failure.

Help Your Spine to Help Your Heart

Spine healthy lifestyle changes can also help reduce your risk for heart disease.

Weight Gain and Back Pain

Back pain is something that will affect nearly everyone at least once in their life. Having excess body weight can put a strain on your joints, specifically your hips, knees and lower back. An extreme excess of weight gain can cause you to not be able to move as much or at all, which will eventually lead to back and neck pain as well as strain on the spinal column. This is why it’s important to maintain a healthy body weight. We recommend consulting with your physician before making any nutritional or dietary changes.

Sleep for Your Spine and Heart

Your spine carries your whole body and your heart pumps blood and oxygen through your body all day. While the two never stop working, they do need to rest at some point. This is why sleep is essential for both a healthy spine and heart. Adequate amount of sleep gives your body time to recover from the day which leads to less stress, fewer aches and pains, and much more. Stress specifically can put quite a bit of stress on your spine and your heart, making sleep essential. 

Exercise is Key 

Whether it’s 10K steps a day, a 30-minute yoga class or an intense sweat session, if you’re someone wanting to better the health of both your spine and your heart – exercise is a great way to do it. The CDC recommends 150 minutes (that’s just 30 minutes for 5 days) of moderate aerobic activity a week. They also recommend adding 2+ days of muscle strengthening to your workout regime. Both aerobic exercise and weight training can help strengthen the muscles around your spine while keeping your heart healthy, too.


Dr. Bendt P. Petersen is an orthopedic 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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