The spine is the most important structure with joints in the human body, as it starts at the base of the skull and extends to the top of the hips, across the back. It is divided into 5 sections, each one having a special role, each serves as a path through which your nervous system passes. All together they keep you upright, help you move have a good posture. The five spinal parts are: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and the coccyx.
For a healthy spine without aches and pains, follow some practical tips:
Practice good posture. Always keep your back straight, at work, in the subway, even when sitting. At all times correct your posture. Tighten your stomach muscles and align it with your abdomen. Keep your head up. There are many techniques for maintaining a good posture, using more pillows, an ergonomic seat, placing a support at the back of your chair, using a supportive belt, the list goes on.
When we have a poor posture, the nerves in our back can “tingle” as they pass between the vertebrae, not only causing pain, but creating circulatory problems and resulting to loss of energy. Therefore, you are more likely feel fatigue, depressed, or in a bad mood if you tend to hatch your back. Try to sit straight every time you are in front of your computer or desk!
Exercise. Several daily activities that once involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body are now performed while sitting. Due to technology, people don’t use their muscles as much. So exercising is a must. Not all exercises are good for your back. Your movements should help you keep your back and stomach muscles healthy, strong and toned. These are the muscles that support your spine. Proper exercise reduces back pain caused by poor posture. Abdominal, lumbar and low impact exercises help to stimulate your spine while relaxing. You can also practice yoga, and the best exercise for back health is swimming.
Stretch for 10 minutes several times (and at least once) a day. A good way to stretch is clasp your hands together and push your upper chest forward, make your back look like a ‘C’ then stretch your arms as far up as you can. Repeat this exercise five times.
Change your poor bad food habits. Unhealthy diet, poor food choices have replaced natural and whole food, the intake of processed and fast food is increasing worldwide. In today’s lifestyle, there is little or no time to cook, hence families resort to some highly processed foods because of being inexpensive and convenient. Fast foods and junk foods are high in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and calories, with little or no nutritional value. All of these foods cause toxins to be stored around your spine and lead to poor health and various chronic diseases, like obesity and diabetes.
Make sure you include healthy foods in your diet, like fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, nuts, almonds, fatty fish such as salmon, and drink about 8 glasses of water a day. This helps you get rid of toxins in your body. There is a big connection between what you eat and how your back feels. This goes beyond posture and exercise.
Get rid of excess weight. The majority of obese people have both back problems and back pain. When you weigh more, your back needs to do more work to support your body. This causes tension and pain in the spine. Start a diet and lose a few pounds.
Have a massage. When a specific area of your back hurts, visit a physical therapy center to treat the pain. A massage eliminates tension in the back and relaxes the spine. It stresses the muscles around your vertebrae, helping you get rid of accumulated toxins and spinal pressure.
Do not carry heavy objects. However, if your job requires you to carry heavy objects, always use a weight belt. If you occasionally have to lift heavy objects at home, be careful how you do it. First bend your knees, bring your back as close to the ground as possible, then grasp what you need to lift in your arms, holding it close to your body, then rise to an upright position
Take natural supplements. There are many supplements you can take to help your back. The most beneficial are magnesium, calcium, spirulina, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed and vegetable oils.
Request an appointment at Eversharp Physical Therapy Center for a healthy spine. Do not wait until you have a problem and the pain becomes unbearable. Some patients have weekly preventive massage sessions to help tone their back muscles.