How to keep your spine healthy

how to keep your spine healthy

7 Tips to Protect Your Lower Back

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that occurs in the lower back, resulting in low back and leg pain that characteristically occurs while standing or walking more than a short distance but dissipates once you sit down or lean forward. Pain associated with this condition can be moderate to severe and may also occur with symptoms of sciatica including tingling and numbness. The more you weigh, the greater the stress on your spine. If you are overweight, losing even 10% to 15% of your body weight can help keep your spine healthy. Losing weight will also make you feel better and more likely to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Whether it's a herniated discspinal stenosisor strained musclesit can take some time to diagnose and treat the causes of back pain. And all the while, you're trying to navigate health insurance, work and family life, and everyday stressors in addition to your back pain. Core exercises like the bridge can help you strengthen abs and what is a pickle fork tool muscles.

While you're lying down, all the structures in your spine that have worked hard all day finally have an opportunity to relax and be rejuvenated. To make the most of this time, you need a mattress and pillows that allow your spine to rest in a supported and comfortable way. Getting good sleep is important 2 and prepare for a new day of handling heavy spinal loads. See Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene. Your core muscleslocated in your lower back and abdomenneed to be strong and supple in order to support your spine and take pressure off your lower back.

Unfortunately, for most of us our core muscles are rarely used enough during everyday activities. These muscles need to be toned through specific, targeted exercises. Check with your doctor, physical therapist, or other health professional to learn which exercises may be appropriate for you. Many core what are the components of solution in science to help reduce back pain are also available on this website.

See Core Body Strength Exercises. Whether you're walking for exercise or just to get where you're going, the shoes you wear play an important role in supporting your lower back.

Good shoes provide a supportive base that helps the spine and body remain in alignment. For example, make sure the area of the shoe that fits the back of your heel is snug, but not overly tight. A good fit prevents over pronation or supinationor too much rolling of the foot to the outside or inside. See Guidelines for Buying Walking Shoes. Also, consider using shoe orthotics or inserts if you need further balance or support.

A good back massage has a number of therapeutic benefits, such as increasing blood flow, loosening tight muscles and connective tissues, and boosting feelings of relaxation. While a massage does not need to be vigorous to be soothing, some evidence suggests that a moderate-level massage offers more stress-relief benefits than a light-touch massage.

While it's not the same as going to a massage therapist, having a massage chair in your home can be a practical and easy way to get some of the benefits of a shiatsu or Swedish massage. See Massage Chairs for Pain Relief. Massage has many therapeutic benefits. The discs in your lower spine are loaded more while sitting than standing, so long periods of sitting can create or aggravate a painful back condition.

Choosing the right office chair and practicing good posture while seated plays important roles in supporting the natural curves of your back. It's also important to do whatever you can to avoid sitting for long periods. Get up to stretch and walk around at least once an hour, try working at a standup desk intermittently during the day, or get up and pace around when talking on the phone.

The spine is meant to move to stay healthy, and movement fuels the spine with healthy nutrients. The topics covered here are simple ways to help support your spine and overall back health. Even when you are in serious pain and are undergoing extensive medical treatments, try to remember the simple things you can do for your backeven how to prevent your period from smelling changes can help with the healing process over time.

Ergonomics of the Office and Workplace: An Overview. Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain. Lower Back Strain Video. How to Evaluate a Mattress. Posture to Straighten Your Back. You are here Blog. By Saurabh Dang, MD. Pavilack L, Alstedter N. Pain-free posture handbook: 40 dynamic easy exercises to look and feel your best.

Berkeley, CA: Althea Press; Diurnal variations in intervertebral disc height affect spine flexibility, intradiscal pressure and contact compressive forces in the facet joints.

Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. Moderate pressure is essential for massage therapy effects. How to keep your spine healthy J Neurosci. Lumbar disc changes associated with prolonged sitting. Editor's Top Picks. Health Information Sponsored.

2. Exercise your core to strengthen abs and back muscles.

Mar 20, Your lower back has a unique anatomy made up of different types of tissues, including bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Here are 7 commonly overlooked tips that can help protect and stabilize your lower back. Nov 04, How to Take Care of Your Aching Back as You Age. Back pain can deter you from doing your daily activities. Our expert shares some tips to reduce your chances of suffering from debilitating back pain. Thousands of people are affected by back pain every day. Whether it's strained muscles or spinal stenosis, diagnosing and treating spine problems takes time. And beyond this, you're still trying to navigate family and work.

When considering our quality of life, we often take our backs for granted. But a healthy spine is essential to our overall health. Want to keep your spine healthy? Here's how. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Are your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles aligned in one straight line?

Need a spine specialist? Check out the SpineUniverse "Find a Physician" feature to locate a doctor in your area. Sign up to receive free updates on back pain treatments, research, and doctor-reviewed spine health information. Connect with Others:. Log In or Sign Up Now!

Ask questions. Get help! Email Print. This page is best viewed with JavaScript enabled. Top 5 Tips for a Healthier Spine. Traynelis, MD. No matter what age you are, regular physical activity is an important way to stay healthy. Try to incorporate these 3 types of exercise into your exercise routine: Range of motion exercises such as stretching and bending. Do these every day to keep joints flexible and to relieve stiffness. Strengthening exercises such as with weights or machines.

Make sure to get instruction for the proper use of exercise equipment to avoid injury. Do these every day to increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect the spine. Aerobic exercises such as walking, biking, tennis, and swimming. Do these 2 to 3 times a week. Lose that weight! The more you weigh, the greater the stress on your spine. Losing weight will also make you feel better and more likely to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

If you are severely overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss program that will allow you to safely lose weight. Sleep well. We all know it's important to get plenty of rest. But what we rest on is also important. A mattress that does not offer enough support for your spine can lead to muscle fatigue and a poor night's sleep. A good mattress allows you to rest in a neutral position; muscles are relaxed and sleep is more refreshing.

If you are having trouble sleeping or find that you wake in the morning more tired than when you went to bed, take a good look at where and how you sleep. Listen to your mother. Our mothers have been telling us for years not to slouch , but now it's time to really listen. Good posture keeps your body in balance and helps avoid excessive stress on your spine.

Here's what good posture looks like when standing: Feet slightly apart Knees straight Chin slightly tucked in Shoulders back and down Do your checks and balances. See your doctor regularly for check-ups.

If you have neck pain or back pain, be sure to get it checked out. Left untreated, some spine conditions can continue to get worse and may have serious health consequences. You May Also Like Video Series: Daily Neck Exercises. Stay Informed with SpineUniverse Sign up to receive free updates on back pain treatments, research, and doctor-reviewed spine health information.

Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. SpineUniverse does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the SpineUniverse. These simple tips can make a huge difference in preserving spinal and overall health. Regular aerobic exercise and strength training, maintaining a proper weight, and obtaining adequate sleep all contribute positively to achieving a long and active life. Sign up for our newsletter, and get this free sanity-saving guide to life in the time of corona.

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