Your spine is the foundation of your body. It’s what supports and protects you, from your brain to nerves, organs, and joints. You may not think about it much, but proper care for your spine is essential for living a long and healthy life.
The process of having a strong and healthy spine for life
1. Be active
Physical activity is vital for a healthy spine. It helps to maintain spinal structure and prevent accelerated wear from the natural changes that occur with age. An exercise program such as walking, swimming, biking, or gardening can be great for the spine, especially if it includes weight-bearing movements that build bones.
2. Keep weight under control
Being overweight adds extra stress to your spine. Often this results in the early wearing of the discs between vertebrae and restricts movement of the joints. It’s also important not to lose too much weight, or you’ll risk compromising your nutritional intake of calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and can help prevent osteoporosis.
3. Strengthen your skeleton
Frequent weight-bearing activities like walking, swimming, and gardening can help to build strong bones and teeth. Gentle strength training can help to build more stable muscles and joints. Strength training also supports endocrine function by promoting the release of hormone-like substances that produce growth factors that support healthy bone formation.
4. Have adequate sleep and rest
Rest is vital for your spine’s health, especially in children, pregnant women, athletes, and seniors. It’s a time for cells to repair and regenerate, and for the spine to relax. Not getting enough sleep can lead to feeling run down and sluggish, so it’s important to get the right amount of rest.
5. Eat healthy foods
Nutritious food promotes strong bones and teeth, which help maintain your spine’s structural integrity. Calcium-rich foods like milk or fortified soy products help build stronger bones. Foods like spinach provide vitamin K and folate, which help strengthen blood vessels and bones.
6. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol can contribute to damage to your spine’s discs, especially if it’s regularly consumed. It also can lead to osteoporosis. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can cause a chemical reaction that damages the connective tissue that supports the discs between vertebrae, called annulus fibrosis, and slows breathing and heart rate. Having a lot of being pregnant is also a risk factor for developing osteoporosis.
7. Treat pain early
Taking steps early to treat back pain can help prevent it from getting worse. If you have back pain, avoid sitting for long periods and heavy lifting, and take it slowly to prevent the worsening of your condition. Chronic back pain should be discussed with your doctor.
It is important to maintain a healthy spine for life. It’s necessary to exercise, eat right, and get the right amount of sleep to be able to keep your spine healthy. If you have back pain you should see your doctor for some help. Visit adrspine.com and learn more about spine health.