There’s a reason why your mother constantly told you to sit up straight and stop making silly faces. While your face may not get stuck that way, your spine certainly will: poor posture often negatively affects a person’s health. Everything from the sleepy feeling you get at 2 p.m. to the headaches you frequently get could be attributed to the health of your spine. Here’s how to make your back happier, leading to a happier, healthier you.
Back to Basics: There’s a reason your doctor tells you to get plenty of exercise and drink lots of water: they’re crucial to your body’s basic functions. The musculoskeletal tissues in your back require water to repair themselves, which can be hard to come by if you don’t properly hydrate. Exercising regularly helps strengthen your back, and doesn’t have to be overly strenuous to be beneficial: a daily walk can provide significant improvement. Exercise routines like yoga are good for promoting flexibility in your spine, which in turn reduces risk of injury. Eating healthy also helps strengthen your spine by giving it the nutrition it needs to fight weak tissues.
Sleep: Although the average person spends approximately one-third of their life sleeping, perhaps the most important, and the hardest, thing to do is to sleep. While you may be sleeping for the recommended eight hours, it really only counts if it’s restful sleep. Sleeping on your back or side, as opposed to on your stomach, is better for the posture of your spine. To assist in getting restful sleep, invest in a mattress and pillows that support your spine: in some cases, you may want multiple pillows. Sleeping with a small pillow in between your knees when sleeping on your side can also be beneficial to reducing back pain.
Invest in Tools: You can’t protect your spine all on your own, so get some help by investing in the right tools. Footwear is an important part of supporting your health: the average person takes approximately 8,000 steps during the course of the day. Relieve the pain by starting at the bottom and working your way up. A good chair, especially if you sit at a desk for long periods of time, can be extremely beneficial. Finally, if you tend to cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder, invest in a headset to avoid damage to your neck.
Checkups: Just like the rest of your body, your spine needs checkups. Visit your local chiropractor to discuss what kinds of back pain you may experience, determine the factors, and set about a plan of action. Don’t wait until you’re already in pain, make it a point to visit your doctor regularly to discuss spinal health: it’s much easier to prevent a problem than it is to treat it.
There are plenty of factors attributing to your spine and its health, just as there are many areas poor spinal health can negatively affect. Don’t succumb to severe headaches or shrug off back pain: strengthen your spine by following these tips and watch your health (and mood) improve!