The spine is a fundamental part of your body, as it’s responsible for protecting vital areas such as your spinal cord, nerve roots, and some of your internal organs. It also helps you be flexible in your movements, providing structural support and balance to maintain an upright position. Therefore, you need to protect your spine and keep it in good health to avoid health issues such as back pain, which is a prevalent condition in adults; about 80% experience it during their lifetime. It’s also the leading cause of work-related disability, with 50% of working adults complaining of back pain each year. What can you do to protect your spine? Here are a few tips to help.
Drink lots of water
Your spinal discs serve as a cushion and shock absorber, keeping you balanced and upright. However, each time you move, they get compressed, releasing some of the water in them. Your discs are susceptible to dehydration and shrinkage, which can cause limited mobility, pain, and spinal injury. As such, you need to stay hydrated at all times to keep your spine flexible and in good condition. This will also go a long way in keeping your discs healthy. You don’t have to wait until you are thirsty – taking in small sips at regular intervals helps.
You’re more likely to experience back pain if you’re not physically fit or are often inactive. Therefore, you should make an effort to work out regularly. Regular exercise helps to reduce spine stiffness by keeping the connective ligaments and tendons flexible. Additionally, it repairs, stretches, and strengthens your back muscles, providing ample support for your spine. Activities such as stretching (knee-to-chest, chin-to-chest, ear-to-shoulder, and hip stretches) and back flexion exercises are ideal for maintaining proper spine alignment. You can also incorporate abdominal bracing, hip crossover stretch bridges, and alternative squats to strengthen your spine.
Eat a balanced diet
Your meals have a significant impact on your spine’s health. Eating the right amount of nutrients and vitamins nourishes your bones, back muscles, discs, and other parts of your spine, thereby reducing back pain and other spine-related conditions. Take care to consume lots of protein and foods rich in calcium, Vitamin K2, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, etc. Foods containing these nutrients include broccoli, kale, spinach, salmon, yogurt, cheese, milk, and fruits.
Practice good posture at work
Sitting for long periods of time puts more pressure on your lower spine, creating a painful backache. Therefore, you need to move from your desk and walk around for a while or stretch your back. You should also ensure that your workspace is set up for your comfort. For example, it’s advisable to get a chair that supports both your upper and lower back. You can also buy an adjustable laptop stand to help you place your computer at eye level to help you avoid straining your neck and back.
It’ll also help to visit your chiropractor or primary care physician when you feel any pain in your back so that they can quickly diagnose the problem and fix it immediately.
Your spine helps and supports your body. Keeping it in good health will give you the freedom to do whatever you wish to do without limitations.