Spinal health doesn't need some arbitrary "Awareness Day" or week or month; the truth is, wherever you are, whenever you can, it is always worth improving your spinal health. At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we believe that one of the best ways to enjoy a long life is with a healthy back, but we also know that modern life stacks the odds against those who try to keep it healthy! In truth, modern lifespans are now exceeding the shelf warranty of our spines, so it is going to take extra, concerted effort to keep our spines healthy into old age.
Spinal health is fluid: it doesn't "start" when you wake up, or "stop" when you go to sleep. Throughout the day and night, we must be cognizant of posture and listen to our body when it sends signals of pain or stiffness to the brain.
- Let's begin with the morning. Don't just jump out of bed; instead, set the tone for a day full of back health by using your arms to slowly support you into a sitting position, before swinging your legs to the floor and standing up.
- If you can find the time after your morning shower, do a few gentle stretches to ease the muscles of your back and body into the swing of the day. Even 5 minutes of gentle stretching will limber your body against the rigors of a day that for many of us is spent sedentary.
- Throughout the day, remain aware: If you feel your head creeping forward, or your shoulders scrunching together, then correct! Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, your head centered over your spine and your eyes facing forward, so that the neck follows: it should never be down or up for a consistent period of time!
- Avoid sitting for too long in one go and break the monotony by taking micro-breaks: 2 minutes of brisk walking to the water fountain, or 2 minutes of deep breathing and stretching.
- Try stretching before bed. It influences relaxation by releasing tension from muscles and gets you ready to sleep deeply.
It's time to wake up. Feel that constant ache or stiffness in your lower back? Don't accept it as normal! Call our office and schedule an appointment today so we can establish a baseline of health for your back.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.