Caring For Your Spine
Despite it being one of the most important parts of your body, your spine rarely enters your thoughts as you go about your daily activities — until there is a problem.
Your body relies on your spine for movement — both physical movement and internal movement of fluids, nervous system communication and nutrient distribution throughout your body. Without your spine connecting your brain to the rest of your body, organs will stop functioning, nerves will stop communicating and other systems would shut down completely.
By concentrating on a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can ensure that your spine remains healthy and continues to function as needed to keep your body working properly.
There are many things you can do to maintain a healthy spine, including:
- Sleep on a quality mattress. During REM sleep your body relaxes completely. If the mattress you’re sleeping on doesn’t provide enough support for your spine, the muscles heal in the wrong formation. This results in pain, tenderness and tightness in the upper or lower back the next morning. Throughout the day the body works to correct itself by cracking the bones, resulting in further damaging the spine and causing irreparable breakage to the nervous system.
- Wear proper shoes. Poorly made shoes work against the natural alignment of your spine by allowing the soles of your feet to turn inwards and absorb more shock during activity than they should. Shoes that offer support work with gravity to absorb the movement of the spine during walking or running. They prevent the sole of the foot from rolling, which protects the vertebrae of the spine from bending outside of a healthy formation.
- Strengthen your core: By strengthening your abs and back muscles, you ensure that your spine has all the tools it needs to stay healthy and regain composure during times of pain or intensity. Working out these muscles 20 minutes a day guarantees pressure and stress relief.
- Avoid sitting to long: When sitting at the office or at home, make sure to keep your back straight. Leaning forward stresses lumbar disks in the spine. However, your back has curves, so let your back relax into its natural shape when needed. Avoid sitting for 30 or more minutes straight, as the spine needs movement and activity to stay healthy and alert.
Following these simple rules protects your spine against the wear and tear of aging, vigorous activity and will reduce your physical limitations over time.
For more information on maintaining a healthy spine from the experts at Owens Physical Therapy Specialists, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.956.0400.