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3 Ways to Keep Your Spine in Good Shape

It probably doesn't come as any surprise that your spine is a pretty important part of your physical makeup. Your spinal cord, along with your brain, makes up one of the most vital systems in your body- the central nervous system. Together with the peripheral nervous system (a network of nerves that branch out from your spinal cord), the central nervous system maintains and controls your body's motor functions (muscle movements), sensory functions (sensations of pressure, pain, temperature, etc.), and autonomic functions (digestion, heart rate, body temperature, etc.).

Therefore, it seems rather obvious that maintaining spinal health will benefit you greatly in the long run. Here are a few ways to help to ensure that your spine's well-being is at or above par: 

#1: Sleep well

Because your body does the majority of its maintenance and healing during your sleeping hours, it's incredibly important that you maintain a healthy and regular sleep schedule. Aim to get between seven and eight hours of good, restful sleep each night. Furthermore, the way that you sleep can affect your spinal health almost as much as when you sleep. Experts agree that you should avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can ultimately put too much pressure on your spine. Instead, try to sleep comfortably on your side. Also, consider investing in a quality mattress. According to Anne Coffey, DC, a chiropractor with AllCare Health Associates, "Invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck". 

#2: Stretch regularly

Because many preventable injuries are caused by tightened muscles and joints (which can add detrimental stress to the spinal cord), experts agree that it is crucial to take a few minutes at the beginning of each day (preferably in the morning) to stretch. This will not only provide you with the necessary flexibility to keep your joints loose, but it will also give you an overall feeling to strength and vitality to get you through your day. 

#3: Stay active

Coffey says, "Whether you make regular visits to the gym, walk, bike, swim, or play with your kids, staying active and keeping your body moving helps maintain the health of your spine". In order to keep your spine in tip-top shape, aim for a healthy combination of stretching, aerobic activity (running, dancing, biking, etc.), and strength training. You should push to get at least half an hour of exercise five days per week. 

 #4: Seek regular chiropractic care

With the help of a doctor of chiropractic, you can ensure that the health of your spine is at its highest at all times. With adjustments and corrections of any subluxations, you are able to be happier and healthier in all aspects of your life.

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