Looking After Your Spine
By Sara Butler
Life can be busy, and you may feel as if you just don’t have the time to devote to the health of your spine that you want. The good news is that taking care of your spine doesn’t really require too much effort on your part! You simply need to take a few very minimal steps to ensure you’re treating your spine right over the course of your day. Here are some suggestions for easy things you can do.
Your chiropractor recommends you do some sort of moderate exercise for about 20 minutes a day. That can include a brisk walk at lunch or right before dinner. You also should focus on your flexibility. When you do exercises to stretch and strengthen your back, you need to make sure:
- Your feet are spread comfortably apart
- Your knees are not bent
- You only go as far as is comfortable
- You do the exercise at least once a day
- You do the exercises slowly, only stopping when a problem pops up
A few exercises you can easily work into your day include:
- Rotation – Gently twist your torso from side to side, repeating 10 times.
- Lateral flexion – Tilt your torso from one side and then to the other, repeating 10 times.
- Extension – Reach toward the ceiling with your arms and then gently tilt your torso back. Repeat 10 times.
- Flexion – Reach your arms to the ceiling and round your back gently as you drop your torso forward. Repeat 10 times.
Check Your Posture
Another way you can ensure your spinal health is to think about your posture. In general, you should spot check these posture tips throughout the day:
- Your head – Check to ensure your head is being held up straight with your ears directly above your shoulders.
- Your shoulders – Your shoulders should be level. If one side is lower than the other, that could indicate a problem.
- Your hips – Are your hips level and even?
- Your neck – Is your chin sticking out and are your shoulders rounded? They shouldn’t be. Your chin should be tucked down and your upper back straight up through the neck.
- Your lower back – Your lower back should have a curve, but it shouldn’t be too deep and your abdomen should not stick out.
- Your shoes – Check the soles of your shoes for equal wear patterns.
If you have questions about the best ways to protect your spine, discuss it with your chiropractor the next time you’re at The Joint.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.