Back pain is the worst! As I’m sure many of you already know, chiropractic usually involves treating back PAIN. However, I want to take that a step further and help you to prevent it entirely. In this video I go through some basic guidelines to keep your spine healthy and happy.
Things to Avoid
Avoiding postural stresses is one of the most simple and effective ways to maintain a healthy spine. The most common postural stress is spinal flexion or rounding of the back. We have all caught ourselves at one time or another slouching in our chair at work or lazily picking something heavy up. These are exactly the sorts of postures that you want to avoid. Studies have shown that these postural stresses can increase pressure on discs by up to 80%.
Start with Mobility
Stretching is a good place to start. Restrictions are major indicators that something isn’t right so keeping full ranges of motion throughout the spine is a great way to avoid injury. One way to work on this is by moving alternately through flexion and extension. Yoga utilizes this particular movement pattern through “Cat Camel” as well as many other mobilizing movements. As useful as some simple at-home stretches can be, if you find that you are too stiff to be able to perform them effectively, I would recommend seeing a professional to improve mobilization before starting self-management techniques.
Strength is the Secret Ingredient
Your spine is a bag of bones without the muscle. Muscle is the glue that holds everything together and generates movement. However, many therapies neglect the importance of strengthening the muscles of the spine. There are several exercises that are foundational to any good treatment plan, whether it be chiropractic, physical therapy or massage: plank, side plank, bird dog, and bridge. In addition to these few simple exercises, Yoga is a fun exercise that incorporates many of the appropriate movements while mobilizing, stabilizing, and meditating.
Nutrition’s Role In Spine Health
Believe it or not, nutrition plays a huge role in inflammation. Systemic inflammation or metaflammation causes pain and degeneration throughout the body. Avoiding processed foods can help reduce inflammation and keep your body pain-free. For more information on nutrition check out What the Hell Can I Eat?
These are the basics of spine health, but understand that there is nothing “basic” about the spine, so seeking professional opinion is always recommended.