The Best & Worst Habits For Your Spine

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Spine Habits

If you want to have a strong spine, not only do you need to know what habits to avoid, but you also need to know what activities you can do to ward off pain. If you want to give yourself the best chance to have a strong spine for decades to come, consider giving up some of the following activities and picking up some of the healthier habits.

Back Habits To Avoid

Here’s a look at some daily habits that can stress and strain your spine.

  • Smoking – Smoking inhibits healthy blood flow to the spine and the surrounding structures, and it leads to quicker spinal disc degeneration. It is one of the worst long-term habits for your back.
  • Obesity – Although obesity isn’t exactly a habit, lifestyle factors certainly contribute to being overweight and obese. Obesity puts more stress on your spine, and over time this can lead to disc problems or spinal joint degeneration. Even small amounts of weight loss can take a lot of stress off your spine.
  • Hard Physical Labor – Activity is good for your spine, but overstressing your body with demanding physical labor can lead to structure breakdown. Workers that operate vibrating machines, or those that regularly bend over or lift heavy objects are at greatest risk for spinal problems like muscle tears or herniated discs.
  • Texting and Tablets – Technological advancements mean we’re rarely away from our phones or tablets, and we don’t often use good posture when playing with these devices. Leaning forward to read screens or surf the web will put constant stress on the cervical portion of your spine.

Back Habits For A Healthy Spine

On the flip side, if you are good about partaking in these daily habits, you can help ward off spine pain.

  • Walking – The same research that shows that smoking and obesity can cause damage to the spine found that walking can help reduce your risk of lower back pain. It helps to promote healthy blood flow, ward off inflammation and strengthen supportive structures.
  • Cycling – Cycling is another activity that can be good for your back, so long as you have good posture when you’re biking. Cycling is considered a low-level activity that can prevent lumbar spine pain, so consider biking to work once or twice a week, or going for a ride after work.
  • Diet – You don’t need to only eat fruits and vegetables to ensure your spine stays healthy, but you do want to lower your intake of fatty or sugary foods. These bad food choices can contribute to the onset of inflammation in the spine, which can cause pain or compression of crucial structures. Try to find balance in your diet, and your spine will thank you for it.

For more habits to avoid or add to your routine, or to talk to a doctor about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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