People who smoke, lift heavy objects frequently, are overweight or obese, or have a history of spinal deformities are at an increased risk of back pain and spinal damage. Even those individuals who don’t fit these categories could be at risk—accidents happens, so it’s important to follow some of these simple guidelines to keep your spine healthy and in good shape to prevent damage. Below are a few tips for a healthy spine:
Now more than ever, people are sitting in chairs at work, all day long. This isn’t good for a number of reasons, but if you are like the millions of others working at a desk all day, there are a few things you can do to keep your spine healthy. First, sit with your knees slightly higher than your hips with your head and back straight. Try not to slouch forward—keep your core engaged to maintain the natural curve of your back! This will help reduce your risk of developing low back pain.
Never lift an object that is too heavy for you—ask for help from a friend or loved one before attempting to lift something that could severely damage your spine. When you do have a friend present, use your legs to lift the object, not your back or upper body. Also, avoid twisting while lifting, this is very dangerous and can cause immense pain and damage to your spine.
We mentioned how important it is to maintain a healthy body weight for a healthy spine in a past blog, but we’ll reiterate: being overweight puts additional pressure on areas of the spine, which can damage vertebrae. You can read more about this in our blog, but for now, try to make a conscious effort to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and eat a balanced diet!
A pillow may be needed to help keep your spine healthy while you sleep, especially for certain sleep positions. If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees to reduce the pressure on your spine. If you sleep on your side, place the pillow between your knees. Sleeping on your stomach is not really recommended, but if you must, place the pillow under your kneecaps.
- Although eating nutritious foods and exercising is essential for optimal health and wellness, so is taking care of your spine!
- According the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 80-90% of the population will suffer from spinal pain at some point in their lives.
- Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine shares a few tips to keep your spine limber and healthy.
For more information on whether spinal surgery is necessary for your condition, or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine, please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.