Metro Manila, Philippines
Metro Manila, Philippines
Our body is the primary thing we need to survive the struggles and pain we face every day. Keeping it healthy is the best thing we can do to help ourselves. And since our spine is one of the main reasons why our physical bodies can move and function properly as human beings, the health of our spines is one of the many things we should always consider as paramount.
The spine is our bodies’ primary support. It is vital to be able to function, move, and enjoy our everyday lives. No one wants back pain, neck pain, and any sort of discomfort. This will keep us living life to the fullest, and do our best in the competition of life. Being mindful of our spine health and being educated about maintaining it healthy is one of the best steps to do to keep ourselves from back pain discomforts and to improve our overall well-being. Unfortunately, back pain is very common in adults, making people visit their doctors behind common colds. According to a study, 80% of adults have experienced back pain their entire life.
With our lives being now married to social media, the internet, our cellphones, our computers, and laptops because of school, and work, we are more susceptible to back pain. I am not exempt from that. With my lifestyle of working all day in front of my computer finishing all my backlogs from school, back pain oil has been my best buddy. Holding our tendons and muscles with poor posture—sitting and walking posture—is not a good thing for our spines, because it tends to cause back pain. Aside from this, however, it can be challenging to know where the back pain is coming from with our different lifestyles and experiences. The pain you are experiencing may be a cause of some serious problems, injuries, past surgeries, genetics, and many more.
The spine is essential. It works hard every day and it is the foundation of our bodies. Fortunately, we can do and practice things that could help us improve our spine health. Here are a few things we can do to improve our spine health on a day-to-day basis:
1. Let your spine rest with a night of good sleep. Laying down and sleeping is the time when our spine can finally breathe and rest after all the work it has done the whole day of working. To give your spine comfort, you need to have a comfortable mattress and pillow. Without these, there is no way you will be able to rest properly. Use a firm or medium-firm mattress because this will properly support your spine. Also, always keep your spine naturally aligned when sleeping by putting a pillow behind your knees. This way, it will reduce the stress on your lower back.
2. Exercises that could strengthen your back and core. When we are so busy and occupied, we tend to disregard the discomforts that we are experiencing and not listen to our bodies. Doing the same position for a long time creates tight muscles which add stress to our spine that causes back pain. On the other hand, the core supports our upper body. This supports our spine to lessen back pains. With this, if our core is weak, the support it gives to the spine will be lacking which causes more pressure on the spine and our lower back. Losing belly weight will relax our spines too because this will relieve the stress on our spines. With that, it is important that we take the time to exercise and learn proper training routines that would particularly strengthen our muscles around our backs.
3. Watch your weight. It goes without saying that having too much of anything is dangerous, and it applies to our body weight as well. You see, weighing a bit too much is not good for your spine since this will cause more stress to it. The worst case is that it can cause your spine to tilt unevenly and can cause curvature to your back. So, watching our weight is important. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with proper exercises which could strengthen our muscles and core as a part of our everyday routine is important.
4. Incorporate spine-friendly foods into your diet. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants are very good for your spine health. Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids like fish, proteins from meats and plant-based meats, green leafy vegetables, and fruits are a few examples. Make sure that your diet has all the essential nutrients and vitamins for your spine health. To be sure, you can consult your doctor for some tips about this.
5. Avoid or stop smoking. Nicotine that is found in smoking causes inflammation to your body which adds stress to your spine and is not good for your muscles. Also, smoking reduces the calcium absorption in your body which can make your bones more prone to fracture. Moreover, there’s evidence that smoking may accelerate damage to the spine due to its toxic effect on our bodies.
6. Improve your posture. Avoid sitting in one position for too long because this will increase tension on your back muscles which could add stress to your lower back. When sitting, make sure to straighten your back and roll back your shoulders. Always be mindful to never slouch while sitting. This way, you will prevent yourself from having neck and back pain, and headaches. Select a chair that would support your back in case of some tendency to slouch and lead forward. Also, make sure to stretch your muscles from time to time, rest, and stand up for a little while to relax your muscles and bones. You may also have little walks as your rest. This will help not just your spine health but also your mental health.
7. Wear comfortable footwear. Avoid wearing heavy shoes and sandals when going out. Also, avoid wearing very high heels. Wearing flat, comfortable shoes will help you walk straightly, which supports your backbones. Choosing shoes that will give extra support to your spines from your footwear is an everyday smart choice. Your back will thank you.
8. Make it a habit to drink water regularly. Apart from the things we already know such as keeping our body temperatures in check and sluicing harmful wastes out of our bodies, drinking an adequate amount (eight to 10 glasses) of water on a daily basis is also helpful when it comes to lubricating our bones; and of course, that includes our spines. In fact, the discs that comprise our spines hold about 85% of water, which surprisingly acts as a cushion-like barrier within and around our spinal discs to prevent our spines from being constricted as we perform basic physical activities such as standing, walking, running, and sitting.
And since the water found in our spinal discs constantly stave off the possibilities of our spine getting crushed, a great amount of water gets squeezed out as we execute the said physical activities on a daily. But the good thing is the amount of water lost can be regained as we lie down on our backs and sleep at night because that is when most of the heavy loads get lifted off from our spines. Thus, doctors who specialize in spinal health urge everyone to consistently imbibe a satisfying amount of water so that our spinal discs will be fully rehydrated during our sleep; strictly following the recommended daily water intake will gallantly aid in decreasing the risk levels of acquiring injuries and developing complications that can range from the usual back pains to life-threatening intervertebral infirmities.
Photo from: Healthy Fitter Self
9. Familiarize yourself with the correct lifting tacks. As mentioned earlier in this list, exercise is one of the great ways to take good care of our spines, and people who include going to the gym in their daily routines surely are one step ahead in keeping their spinal health in check. However, going to the gym may also do them harm. For those who like to lift weights as they work out, equipping themselves with enough prior knowledge when it comes to the correct way of lifting should be of paramount importance. This is because lifting heavy equipment without the right training and proper form could result in unfortunate afflictions that range from muscle strains to badly injuring the spine.
Photo from: Victor Freitas
10. Give your body some love. Get a massage. Although it is not a necessity to get a massage daily, there is no harm in enjoying it once or twice in a while. Apart from reducing our stress levels, keeping our blood circulation in check, and enabling us to sleep better, massages are also beneficial when it comes to relaxing our muscles after a strenuous workout or just a physically tiring day. It can also relieve back pains, enhance our flexibility, and improve our posture.
Photo from: SAVA
These steps could help you improve your spine health. Practicing it every day will help you ease your back pain. However, even if you follow the given advice, back pain can still happen. If the discomfort is bothering you for a long time already, consult your doctor immediately. That might be a sign of some serious problems and proper treatment from the experts might be the one that you need.