Spine Health

Tips to Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong

Quit smoking:  Smoking reduces a healthy blood flow to your spine, thereby speeding up the development of osteoporosis and disc degeneration.

Stay active:  Did you know that people who are physically fit are more resistant to back injuries and pain? Regular exercise can help ease inflammation and muscle tension. Just be sure to stretch before exercising or performing any activity that might be demanding.

Build your core:  Strong back and abdominal muscles will support your spine and take pressure off your back. Since we rarely use these muscles during everyday activities, incorporate specific, targeted exercises.

Check your posture:  Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk, or walking with your shoulders hunched. If you’re required to sit for long periods of time, take regular breaks to stretch and walk around (ideally, every half-hour).

Watch your weight:  Extra weight, particularly around the middle, puts added strain on your back. For a healthier back, keep within 10 pounds of your ideal weight and focus on trimming your waistline.

Check your form:  Learn the best techniques for lifting heavy objects. You should always bend with your knees and hips, rather than your back. Avoid twisting at all costs.

Sleep right:   Give your spine a rest by sleeping on your side rather than your back. Also, check to see that your bed offers the correct support for your weight and build.

Don’t ignore pain:  If you have persistent back or neck pain, be sure to see a health professional for a diagnosis. Left untreated, spine problems can worsen and become even more serious.