Taking care of your spine — that is, your back and neck — today will help lower your chances of back pain later.
Making simple changes to your daily routine can help improve body mechanics and reduce the chance for spine related pain. Here are three tips from the doctors at Pain Care of San Diego:
Insufficient sleep can lead to many problems including increased neck and back problems. It is important to get between six and eight hours of sleep each night and to sleep in a position that enables the spine to relax. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach as that puts too much pressure on your spine. Sleeping on your side puts the least amount of pressure on the spine.
Stretching promotes flexibility, which helps maintain normal joint function and a good range of motion, which reduces the risk of injury.
Pay special attention to your hamstrings, the muscles in the backs of your legs. Tight hamstrings can effect posture, putting added stress on the entire spine.
The group of muscles that support your spine are known as the core muscles, and it is believed that strengthening the core reduces the strain on your back and helps relieve or prevent pain. Strengthening often involves strenuous exercises such as planks, sit-ups, push-ups and crunches, but there are also many gentle stretches and strengthening exercises that can be done from a seated position or lying down.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your back because as you walk, you strengthen your hip muscles, and stabilize your spine and back.
Walking also helps you lose weight, which will reduce stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your lower back.
Follow these 3 S’s for a supported and healthy spine!