Your spine is arguably the most elegant creation in all of evolutionary biology. The human spine is a miraculous, perfectly balanced system, and it’s the foundational support of the entire body. A healthy spine is priceless.
Preventative maintenance and good habits are the keys to a healthy spine and keeping your mobility as you age. We put together some simple ways to keep your spine in top shape.
Stretch and Strengthen Your Spine
Keep your spine healthy with a steady stretching and strengthening regimen.
Certain kinds of yoga are highly beneficial for strengthening and stretching your spine. Notable spinal benefits are seen with Iyengar Yoga (precise movements), Ashtanga Yoga (strength-based movements), and Viniyoga (breath-based movements).
If yoga isn’t your style, several other basic stretching routines target the spine. The goal is to develop a regimen that works to maintain healthy mobility, flexibility, and strength in your spine.
However, improperly stretching and exercising can also damage your spine. Be sure to ease into your new fitness routine whenever you’re just starting. Don’t strain or overdo it when bending or lifting. Also, be sure to consult spinal health experts about healthy exercise and stretching routines before beginning.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight supports a healthy spine and vice versa. Being overweight puts stress on your spine. Also, excess weight can lead to other diseases or physical conditions that may further impair the spine or intensify existing issues.
Don’t Use Tobacco
Nicotine constricts blood vessels. Tight blood vessels reduce blood flow to your spine and limit oxygen and available nutrition that your spine needs. Vasoconstriction (tightening of the blood vessels) can also accelerate inflammation and degradation within the spine and throughout the body.
Make sure your spine can get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Don’t use nicotine.
Stay in motion
Keep the spine activated. Move around, walk, exercise, or stretch to keep your back flexible and limber. Remaining in one position for an extended time is hard on the spine. Take frequent breaks if you have to sit for long periods at a desk.
Lift and Bend Carefully
When lifting, always use the correct technique: keep your back straight, bend the knees, and use your legs to lift. If it’s too heavy, ask for help. It’s not worth damaging your spine.
Know When to See a Physician
The neurological and spine team at GNS Surgery Center has a mission to care for every patient and their family as if they were our own. Back and spinal problems should never be ignored, so consult a physician if you’re experiencing any pain or mobility issues.