Most people don’t pay much attention to their spine until there’s pain. By taking a proactive approach to spine health, however, you can ensure that the 33 bones of the spine and the supporting tendons, muscles, and joints continue to work together in perfect harmony to support your movements. Here are a few tips for maintaining optimal spine health from the Beverly Hills spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal restoration.
• Get Some Exercise – Even 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, whether it be strolling around the block or walking during your lunch break, can do wonders for your spine.
• Adjust How You Stand – If you have to stand for long periods of time, the American Chiropractic Association recommends bending your knees slightly while keeping one foot in front of the other one.
• Practice Proper Lifting – When lifting something heavy, bend at the knees and avoid twisting your back. If something’s too heavy to lift, pushing is better for your spine than pulling.
• Stay Comfortable at Work – Sit up straight and find a comfortable height to maintain optimal spine health if you have to sit in a chair for most of your workday. A lumbar support pillow can also be helpful.
• Maintain a Healthy Weight – Maintaining a healthy weight, at least 10 pounds within your ideal weight range, prevents added pressure from being placed on your spine.
• Eat Your Fruits and Veggies – Leafy green vegetables and most fruits (berries tend to be especially high in nutritional value) have essential vitamins and minerals that can keep the bones of the spine healthy.
• Quit Smoking – The nicotine in cigarettes affects the blood supply to the discs that support the vertebrae–another good reason to kick the habit.
• Wear Comfy Shoes – Supportive footwear helps with proper alignment by reducing pressure on the lower back and sciatic nerve (a major nerve extending from the lower spine to the back of the thigh).
A big part of spine health is establishing a productive dialog with your doctor by being honest about any back-related pain or discomfort you may be feeling, even if it seems minor. With more than 80 percent of the population likely to experience back pain at some point, it’s never too soon to make an effort to maintain good spine health.
For more information on spine care or to discuss ongoing back pain, give us a call at (310) 828-7757. We offer a variety of treatment options, including lumbar artificial disc replacement, spinal fusion, and spinal fusion alternatives.