Every day millions of people suffer from back pain, but how serious is it? Being affected by back pain can have a major impact on your quality of life. Back pain can cause you to miss social activities, fail to complete simple tasks, and even miss days of work. Taking care of your back means taking care of both your spine and your neck in order to maintain proper back health. A recent article by Beth Orenstein features Anne Coffey, a chiropractor from AllCare Health Associates, who has provided seven helpful tips to help you build a healthy spine.
Building a Better Back
Spine health is extremely important to maintain because your spine determines the majority of how you move and hold yourself. Coffey states that by practicing her seven tips, you will be on your way to not only a healthier spine, but you will also lower your chances of experiencing life inhibiting back and neck pain later in life. The following seven steps are so surprisingly easy that you will find yourself asking “Why didn’t I do this before?”
- Stretching is Key: Surprisingly enough, majority of back pain is actually tied to your hamstrings. When your hamstrings are tight, the muscles pull on your pelvis which, in turn causes it to rotate backwards causing pain in your lower back. Be sure to give your hamstrings a good stretch every day!
- Drink Plenty of Water: Proper hydration can cure a lot of ails, but did you know that staying hydrated helps your muscle tissue and your joints? Keeping your muscles and joints properly hydrated allows for greater elasticity which prevents our discs from shrinking, bulging, and rupturing.
- Work Posture: We all know how easy it is to slump in our seats at our desks and although it may feel more comfortable it is bad for the spine. When sitting at your desk, it is best to have your knees at a 90 degree angle, so avoid putting your feet on the bottom of your chair and keep them on the floor instead. Also, try to avoid resting your phone on your shoulder to ensure that you don’t strain the muscles in your neck.
- Catch the Right Amount of Z’s: Everyone loves sleep and it is rare that we get enough hours a night. Getting the right amount of hours each night to let your body repair is just as important as the way you sleep. Sleeping on your right side not only proves for better sleep, but also puts less pressure on your spine than laying on your stomach.
- Proper Lifting: We often don’t realize how we are damaging our spine when we lift heavy objects on a daily basis. To lift an item properly without causing damage, stand close to the heavy object and do not use your back, but your legs to lift. Doing so will decrease the chances of damaging your back.
- Be Active: Sitting around all day will not make for a healthy spine. Be sure to get out and be active, whether it is at the gym, going on a walk, playing with your kids or your pets! Try to find exercises that include stretching mobile activity to strengthen your spine.
- Be Aware: one of the most important steps is to pay attention to your body. Back pain can be normal, but also can be a sign of underlying health problems. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing an abnormal amount of pain and shouldn’t be left untreated.
Now that you know the 7 tips to better neck and back health, try to incorporate them into your daily routine. You will be amazed at how much better you feel by enacting these simple steps into your daily regiment and can say “bye-bye” to back pain!