In terms of overall wellbeing, the health of your spine is one of the most important areas to focus on. When your spine is in correct alignment, so many good things happen. The surrounding nerves and muscles function normally, free from irritation or inflammation. Blood is able to circulate more freely, breathing is free and easy, and even cognition is better.
But what happens when the spine is under too much stress? What happens when it’s out of alignment? Nerves are pinched, vital cartilage is worn down, and supporting muscles are inflamed. The symptoms include chronic pain, tingling, and numbness in various parts of the body—not to mention a limited range of motion, fatigue, and even mental distress.
Everyday Habits for Improved Spine Health
Working with a qualified chiropractor is an important step in dealing with existing spinal imbalances and preventing minor problems from turning into major ones. But even more important is a working knowledge of everyday habits that promote spine health. Here are a few of the most important things you can do in the course of a day:
Work smarter, not harder. Never before in history have so many jobs required so many hours of sitting, and never before have workplace ergonomics been so important. All those hours spent in office chairs—especially when posture is poor—gradually compress the spine and lead to problems. To avoid these problems, renovate your workspace by paying special attention to the quality of your chair and the height of your workstation. Posture is another thing to work on. Sit up straight, breath normally, and remember to get up at regular intervals.
Get the sleep you need. Most of us spend around a third of our time sleeping, but are you sleeping in a way that promotes a good alignment of your spine? Talk to your chiropractor about the kind of mattress and pillow that will help your spine stay aligned during the nighttime hours. You’ll wake up feeling much more refreshed and able to maintain better posture throughout the day.
Don’t skimp on exercise and stretching. In today’s highly digitized world, it’s easy to forget that our bodies need to be worked out and stretched in order to maintain spinal health. Cardiovascular training, stretching techniques, aerobics, or simply going for a walk—these are all important measures we should be taking. Not doing so causes our muscles to lose strength, which puts more strain on our spines, tendons, and ligaments. Regular stretching and exercise are also a great way to refresh yourself throughout the day.
Lift with your legs. Helping a friend move? Lifting is a part of daily life, but many people forget to use their legs. If you put too much pressure on your back while lifting, you may not notice it right away. But the negative effects will eventually make themselves known in the spine. Remember to use your powerful leg muscles every time you lift and carry an object.
Get good nutrition and sufficient hydration. Eating junk food and not getting enough quality hydration are detrimental not only to spinal health, but overall health and wellness. Hydration, in particular, helps our joints to maintain proper lubrication and suppleness. Staying properly hydrated is one of the easiest ways to keep your spine healthy.
Is it time to consult an expert in the health of your spine? Whether you’re currently experiencing spine-related problems or simply want to make sure your spine stays in alignment, seeking treatment from a professional chiropractor is a worthwhile consideration.
Dr. Scott Cabazolo
112 East 6th Street
Front Royal, VA 22630