Most back pain is caused or worsened by some type of stress or strain on one or more of the 33 bones of the spine itself, supporting discs, or adjacent muscles and tendons. One way to minimize instances of back pain is to take steps to strengthen your spine to reduce susceptibility to injury.
Improve Your Posture
Poor posture can slowly take its toll on your spine by shifting alignment and placing unnatural stress on supporting joints and discs. Beverly Hills spine surgeons suggest improving your posture by:
- Sitting all the way back in your chair
- Keeping your head and shoulders aligned
- Minimizing the “head down” position common when using your smartphone or tablet
Strengthen Your Core Muscles
All you need is about 10-20 minutes a day to perform some spine strengthening exercises. Incorporating light weights into your routine can help strengthen muscles that either directly or indirectly lend support to your spine, including:
- Extensors: Back and gluteal muscles that help you lift, extend, and move your thigh away from your hip.
- Flexors: Abdominal and iliopsoas muscles that support your spine from the front and help you bend.
- Obliques or rotators: Side muscles that stabilize your spine when you’re standing upright.
Balance Your Diet
A diet that’s a mix of fruits and veggies and lean proteins is one that’s likely to keep your spine strong. If you can’t get enough essential vitamins and nutrients from your diet alone, supplements can help achieve a better balance. Nutrients conducive to good spine health include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- B vitamins, especially B12
- Vitamin D, which can be difficult to get from sun exposure and diet alone
Get More Productive Sleep
Recuperative, or deep-stage, sleep is needed to naturally repair the tissues that support your spine. The general recommendation is about 6-8 hours of productive rest each night. Also avoid sleeping on your stomach, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, and choose a supportive mattress.
It only takes a few months to develop new habits likely to benefit your spine. Further keep your spine healthy by paying attention to signs it’s time to modify certain movements or get a little rest.
If you have persistent neck pain, it’s time to see a specialist. Call The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation to learn more about treatment options including non-surgical procedures, cervical artificial disc replacement, and fusion techniques.