Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 2, 2018
The new year is here, and if you’re like most people, you probably have some health-related resolutions you hope will stick. Health-based resolutions are great, but we want to get a little more body-specific and focus on some things you can do for your spine in 2018. So below, we share five tips to ensure your spine stays healthy long into the new year.
Consistent exercise is one of the best things you can do for your spine. Exercise helps to get healthy blood pumping in the area, and it strengthens spinal structures, which helps prevent against injury. Don’t just have arm days and leg days at the gym, be sure you spend time working on your core muscles. Participating in moderate-intensity exercise 4-5 times a week will do wonders for your overall spine health.
When you imagine a spine injury, you probably think of an acute moment of trauma, but many spine injuries occur due to poor posture and overstressing certain areas. Make it a point to perform self-checks of your posture throughout the day, and correct yourself if you find that you’re hunched forward or slouching in your chair. Your head should be directly above your shoulders, and your spine should be in its natural “S” shaped position.
Five minutes of daily stretching can go a long way in preventing injuries and keeping your spine healthy. Stretching helps to transition your spinal muscles and ligaments from an inactive state to a mobile state. Allowing these tissues to warm up will ensure they are ready for activity when the time comes. If you’re going to be gardening, moving heavy equipment or doing a lot of bending and twisting, make sure you spend a couple minutes stretching prior to activity.
When people suffer a minor spine injury, they often try to go on with their day like nothing happened. Ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away on its own can actually cause more issues, so take time immediately after the initial injury to allow for healing. Missing a game or a couple of days of work beats further damaging the area and needing to undergo surgery. Rest, stretching, aqua therapy, and physical therapy can all help a minor injury relieve in a couple of days.
Finally, consider taking up at least one hobby this year that focuses on improving your spine health. Whether that involves swimming 20 laps at the community pool or taking weekly yoga classes, find a hobby that you enjoy more than regular exercise that helps to improve your spine health. If you can find something that you enjoy doing that makes your spine healthier, it’s a win-win!