The new year always provides us with the feeling of having a clean slate. Let’s face it, most of us don’t take very good care of our spines. 2019 can be the year that your resolutions come true. This lack of care can lead to physical discomfort and make us susceptible to future injuries and complications. Do your spine—and your overall health—a favor and take the time to treat your spine to a few of these 10 indulgences:
Exercise is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy spine—and it can also aid in the rehabilitation of your injured spine. There is a simple expression that sums up physical health best; Motion is Lotion. In other words, the more movement we engage our spines in, the more Hyaluronic Acid (HA) will flood the tiny spaces and lubricate joints to make movement smooth and free.
If you suffer from chronic pain or discomfort associated with your spine, take the time to engage in mindful meditation every day. While no single treatment option works for everyone, studies have shown that mediation is an effective tool for fighting chronic back pain. A daily mediation requires only a dark, quiet room and 5-15 minutes of your time. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, but you might try focusing on a pleasant, relaxing place—such as the beach—where you feel carefree and comfortable.
Your spine has a series of natural curves, and if your typical sitting posture does not support these natural curves you may damage your sensitive spinal nerves. If you have a job that involves a lot of sitting, take time to make sure your office chair and desk are ergonomically aligned to support your spine. Additionally, consider working at a stand up desk or sitting on an exercise ball for a portion of the day. Last but not least, it’s a good idea to stretch and walk around every half hour.
The benefits of walking are plentiful, including strengthening the core muscles that keep your body upright, nourishing spinal structures with necessary nutrients, improving flexibility, and strengthening your bone structure.
Applying heat to the muscles around your spine increases blood flow, which in turn brings healing nutrients to your muscles. Heat therapy can also reduce pain associated with the muscles and joints around your spine—and it may relieve your muscle spasms.
When you lie down to sleep, you want a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. This means that people who prefer different sleeping positions will need different kinds of pillows.
Your daily diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of your spine. Try limiting your diet mostly to foods you would find in nature—vegetables, fruits, meats, whole grains, and legumes. Eventually try to eliminate processed foods entirely, and make sure to limit unhealthy sweets to an occasional treat.
Exercising in a pool reduces the downward stress of gravity as the buoyancy of water helps to support your spine, thus reducing the risk of injury or pain during certain exercises. In addition, the viscosity of water provides gentle resistance by means of friction.
Water therapy programs are usually taught in warm water, and many people find the warmth soothing on their joints.
Studies show that massage therapy is an effective treatment for some types of back pain. Massages offer several potential benefits, including improving blood circulation for the recovery of sore muscles, restoring spinal range of motion, helping with insomnia, and upping your endorphin levels—the body’s natural chemicals that boost your feel-good emotions.
Improperly lifting heavy items can put your lower back muscles in abnormal positions that may lead to painful muscle strains. Additionally, improper lifting may cause your spinal joints to lock or your spinal discs to rupture.
Spine health is integral to a healthy lifestyle. As we get older and reduce the amount of activity and movements of the spine, it can have a serious impact on the overall functionality of the systems of the body. Take the time to be certain you are giving your spine the respect it deserves.
The new year always ignites us to create changes to positively impact our lives. Making some simple and easy changes to your daily routines, can have lasting improvements that providing a positive cascading impact on your health. Resolve to do some or all of these tips in 2019.
Happy New Year!