By Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor)
A healthy spine is essential if you want to enjoy a healthy life. Often, the health of the spine is over looked when considering how to live a healthier life. It is well know that people who suffer back pain are generally less healthy than those who do not.
Your spine consists of 24 moving vertebrae, nerves, muscles and ligaments and acts as a conduit to protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord connects the brain to the body and allows for communication and messages to be exchanged. If your spinal cord becomes injured the nerve messages between your brain and body are no longer clearly communicated.
To maximise your health and the health of your spinal cord, we are sharing with you these 7 amazing tips for a healthier spine. Read on!
Tip 1: Sleep in a Restful Position
When you sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates itself. It is important that you sleep in a posture neutral position (such as on your back, or on your side with your ears, shoulders and hips in alignment). Sleeping in a curled up position or on your stomach does not allow your body to rest and repair itself adequately and may be a warning sign that you have an underlying structural issue.
Be sure to select the right pillow and mattress combination that works to support your body while resting. A chiropractic pillow that supports the head and neck while at rest and a firm mattress make for a better sleeping experience. You can view a chiropractic pillow here.
Tip 2: Enjoy Regular Massage
Massage and chiropractic adjustments work hand in hand and are very complimentary forms of therapy. Massages work to relax muscles and relieve stress. Massage and chiropractic together work to treat: joint restriction, pain, inflexibility, headaches and tight muscles. Therapeutic massage involves light to firm touch to release muscle tightness, tension, increase blood and lymph circulation and to confer a sense of calm. Remedial massage differs in that it is used as a system of assessment and treatment of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management.
Tip 3: Sit Up Straight, or Stand
Being mindful of your posture when sitting is very important as actually sit for the majority of the day! If you want to know how long the average person sits for in a day click here.
Did you know that the discs in your spine are loaded (pressure) three times more while sitting, commonly resulting in back pain. When people sit behind a desk to work on a computer or in an office chair, they tend to slouch forward. This causes forward head posture and can cause back pain and sciatica (nerve pain in the lower back and down the legs).
Sitting tip: sit in an office chair that supports your back. Get up and go for a quick walk every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch your legs and remove pressure from your spine. Ergonomically designed work stations and standing work stations are excellent alternatives to the traditional office set up.
Tip 4: Exercise Your Back and Abs
The secret to a strong and healthy back lies in having a strong and healthy core. Focus on building stronger muscles around your core (abs) and lower back area to help keep your spine healthy and strong. When these muscles are weak (from injury or lack of exercise), additional stress is placed on your spine, resulting in additional pressure, pain and degeneration.
Tip 5: Use Correct Lifting Technique
When lifting objects, be sure to use correct lifting technique, including the following:
- Avoid twisting – the twisting movement is one of the most dangerous for your spine, especially when lifting.
- Use your legs, not your back when picking up heavy objects. Bend with your knees, not your back.
- Keep the object close to your body when lifting or carrying it, reducing pressure and potential for injury.
- If in doubt or if the object is too heavy, always seek help.
- When reaching for an object above shoulder level, use a step stool.
Tip 6: Stretch Every Day
Stretching is important for many reasons. It helps keep you moving and prevents muscles from tightening which in turn can pull your bones out of alignment e.g. tight pelvic/hip muscles and tight leg muscles can pull on your pelvis, causing a misalignment, which can cause lower back pain. Stretching increases blood circulation and keeps your joints moving through their complete range of motion. This helps to prevent injury and enables muscles to work more efficiently.
Tip 7: Enjoy Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
To really look after your spine and to keep your entire body in better health, regular chiropractic adjustments are useful. Chiropractors aim to correct the shape of your spine, reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort, remove harmful nerve interference, increase movement to stiff joints, allow the body to heal and grow and to function in better health. Read Dr Rosie's 5 benefits of chiropractic care.
If you would like to book a chiropractic consultation at New World Chiro please phone or email us today. We have a fantastic New Patient Offer to get you started.
(02) 9687 4011