Everyone has a “hunch,” nowadays. I’m not talking about that little feeling you get. I’m referring to people, and how they can’t seem to sit or stand up straight. Sometimes work, relationships, or life in general deliver added pressures that before long, make it hard to move or feel normal again. Physical therapists are having a field day, but the experience is painful to the rest of us. Here are five easy ways to keep your spine healthy.
5) EXERCISE REGULARLY – When you’ve got too much work to do, it’s hard to make time for the gym. The less you exercise, the more likely your spine is to twist out of shape. Even if it’s just for ten minutes a day, give yourself time to be physically active. Walking, biking and swimming are great for keeping your spine elongated. Any kind of aerobic activity that works your core muscles should also do the trick.
4) GET A MASSAGE – Many of us feel uncomfortable or exposed on the massage table, or we feel we have no time or that we don’t deserve such “luxuries,” but getting a massage releases endorphins and increases blood flow, which can reduce any back pain and help realign discs that might be out of place.
3) DRINK WATER – New Jersey chiropractor Dr. Anne Coffey says, “Staying hydrated is important to maintaining soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints.” When we’re dehydrated, our spines tend to shrink. Left unattended, we become vulnerable to ruptured discs and painful bulges of the spinal column. We can also lose protective padding, which results in lost height as we age.
2) WEAR ORTHOPEDIC SHOES – Maybe all we need is a little help from Dr. Scholl’s. Orthopedic shoes or separate padding can align your back as you walk, and help you stand upright by providing added support as you move. Over time, your spine becomes stronger and more supportive of your head, neck and shoulders.
1) WORK AND SIT RIGHT – Sometimes, our day jobs can hurt us. The computer is far away or the monitor is too low, so what do we do? We hunch over to get a better view of the screen, which can place added pressures on one’s back. Treat yourself right; sit up straight with your spine against the back of your chair. Keep your head up, looking directly forward. If the computer is too far away, bring it closer. If the monitor is too low, adjust it so it’s at eye-level. Small changes like this may be all you need to keep yourself out of a chiropractor’s office forever.