We all know how important our spine is. After all, it’s what keeps us upright and able to stand up, providing our bodies with the structure and support it needs to facilitate movement and flexibility. And, of course, it protects our spinal cords, which connect our brains to the rest of our bodies so we can control how we move.
But do you know how to keep your back and your spine healthy? The good news is that there is a lot you can do to ensure your back keeps in fine fettle as you get older – but the main one is regular exercise, as this is essential for muscle strength.
Going to the gym is one way to ensure you can keep your back nice and healthy but, of course, this is not an option during lockdown. However, there are all sorts of other options out there, as well, such as running, cycling, hiking and so on. You could even try open water swimming if you’re feeling brave enough to do so in the winter!
Swimming is perhaps one of the best options, as it doesn’t put any stress or strain on your joints, so if this is something of a concern, perhaps think about jumping in the pool instead of going running, which can be very damaging to the body.
Think about your posture, as well. Do you think it could be improved? Holding yourself properly will help your spine keep its natural shape and ensure that your blood flows as it should.
The spine has three natural curves, one in the neck, one in the mid back and one in the low back and good posture maintains these curves, with your head above your shoulders and the top of your shoulder over your hips.
When sitting, keep your feet flat and avoid crossing your knees or ankles. Keep your knees at the same height or just below your hips, with a gap between the backs of your knees and your chair.
And when you’re lying down, keep your legs bent if possible, as this will help keep the spine in its natural curvature. If you lie face down or face up, your spine is forced into either flexion or extension and this can put pressure on your discs.
Something else to bear in mind is how you pick heavy items up, as this can cause real back problems if you don’t do it properly. Bend at the knees instead of bending at the waist to avoid putting pressure on your spine. And, wherever possible, try to avoid doing heavy lifting, as it really isn’t good for your back.
And, finally, what about booking yourself a massage with us here at Frimley-based OsteoVision? A good massage can really increase blood flow and loosen sore and tight muscles, as well as being an excellent stress reliever… the perfect way to go into 2021. It can also really help if you’ve been experiencing lower back pain and are keen to address this.