1. Maintaining proper posture for sitting:
While sitting, you want to make sure you are sitting back in your chair, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, chest out and head at a neutral level. For your neck, if you are using a computer or phone you want to keep the screen at eye level to alleviate stress put on your neck.
2. Proper sleeping ergonomics:
The best position for sleep is on your back, with your legs elevated by placing a pillow under your knees. If you are a side sleeper, you will want to place a pillow between your knees to take pressure off of your low back. For your neck, you will want to use a pillow that keeps your spine in a straight line to take stress off of your neck.
3. Proper lifting:
You want to bend at the knees to pick something up, NOT at the waist. You NEVER want to bend and twist at the same time.
This is important for your body as a whole, but also keeps your back healthy. Guidelines recommend 30 minutes of physical activity daily, which could be from walking/running, swimming, strength training, HIIT workouts, etc.
5. Core strengthening:
Strengthening your core muscles helps to keep your lower back stabilized, and can help prevent injuries. Some examples of core exercises include bird dog’s, planks, crunch’s and bridges.
Along with strengthening the muscles of the spine, it is also important to stretch. Stretching relieves tension in tight muscles, and improves your range of motion. You can also try yoga, which can be great for your spine and your overall health.
Smoking is very bad for the body and your overall health, and this includes your spine. Smoking reduces blood flow to your discs which can lead to faster degeneration.
Drink plenty of water! It flushes out bad toxins from your body, and keeps your body well hydrated. Specifically with the spine, we lose fluid in the discs throughout the day just from standing and moving. Drinking water helps to replenish them.
These are just a few tips to keep your spine happy and healthy. There are many more things you can also do which will help. Your spine is a very important part of your health and wellbeing, so taking good care of it should be a top priority.
-From Dr. Robert