Your spine is a crucial part of your body. Without it, you couldn’t walk or even hold yourself upright. That’s why when something goes wrong with it, it can cause so much damage to your quality of life. A bad back can affect what you do on your job, as well as your personal life. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to give your spine healthy. Here’s some advice.
Let Your Spine Rest While You Sleep
Most people like to sleep on their sides or their front. This is natural, and something most of us have done since childhood. But sleeping on your side might not be such a good idea when it comes to looking after your spine; especially if you have a herniated disc. It’s usually a much better idea to sleep on your back and ensure that the spine isn’t twisting. For extra support, put a pillow under your knees.
Your choice of mattress and pillows s also very important when it comes to looking after your back. According to Spine-Health, people suffering from back pain should choose a mattress that evenly distributes their weight, taking any unnecessary pressure off the spine itself.
Exercise To Strengthen Core Muscles
Another reason why people run into back pain trouble is that their core muscles aren’t strong enough relative to the demands they place on their backs. Weak muscles around the lower back, as well as the abdomen, mean that the body cannot adequately support the spine itself, leading to strain and damage, especially when moving in unfamiliar directions.
The solution to this problem is rather simple: train abdominal and other core muscles so that they become stronger. Abdominal muscles can be trained through a variety of simple exercises in no more than 15 minutes a day.
Buy Shoes To Support Your Spine
The type of shoes that you wear have a significant impact on the health of your back, whether you’re a keen hiker or just walk to work in the mornings. It turns out that shoes play an important role in how well supported your lower back is. The best shoes, including walking boots, provide a lot of support to your feet, keeping the legs and the lower spine in alignment. Of particular importance is the area around the back of the heels. This part of the shoe needs to be snug if your foot is to be supported.
Our bodies were designed to walk barefoot, so in some cases, the shoes themselves might be the problem. Shoes cause us to walk very slightly differently to how nature intended because of the fact that the soles of shoes are different to those of our feet. The good news is that you don’t have to walk barefoot everywhere if you don’t want to. There are not shoes by companies like Vibram that mold to the shape of your feet – and even your individual toes – allowing you the feeling of walking barefoot without exposing your feet to the elements. People who walk barefoot or in shoes that mimic the effect tend to have a better gait and, therefore, a healthier back.
Grab A Regular Massage
By now, the benefits of massage are well-documented. Not only does massage increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles of the back, but it also helps to release endorphins – natural feel-good factors. These endorphins are a type of natural painkiller; relieving the body of ailments and helping you to get on with your day.
Studies have shown that people who suffer from back pain but take regular massages can reduce their intake of painkillers; some of which can have detrimental side effects. Researchers believe that this might have something to do with the fact that massage helps to bring healing nutrients to affected sites around the back, speeding up the healing process.
You can indulge your spine by going to the spa next to your gym or having a massage therapist visit your home.
Practice Good Ergonomics While Sitting
The media has been harping on about how sitting is the new smoking. And while it remains to be seen whether sitting all day really is as bad as puffing your way through a pack of 20, anybody who has a bad back knows how sitting can aggravate it further.
Anybody who sits at a desk knows that there is a tendency to either lean into the computer screen or slouch back; which can stress the delicate discs in our spine. Official advice, therefore, is to avoid long periods of sitting wherever possible; including regularly getting up on your feet to go to the toilet or make a drink.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.