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Tips For A Healthy Spine



Adopting a good posture and an active lifestyle to maintain a good health for your spine cannot be overemphasized. Majority of the problems can be managed conservatively and even if no surgical intervention is required, your doctor will recommend you to adopt to certain changes in your lifestyle which will lead to a fitter spine.

Some very basic tips to reach a goal of a healthier spine are being enlisted.

While Standing

  • All of us need to spend a good amount of time standing at one place.
  • When standing, keep one foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent.
  • This position helps to take the pressure off your low back.
  • While bending forward, do not stand bent forward at the waist for long periods of time.
  • The muscles in your low back become fatigued, which may lead to pain.


While Lifting a heavy weight

  • Avoid twisting while lifting at all times. Twisting is surely one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
  • Especially after surgery, your doctor will stress on to avoid any twisting movements.
  • Try and avoid lifting any heavy loads, if you are not used to.
  • Pushing is easier on your back than pulling any heavy object.
  • Try to go down on your knees while lifting and then lift the object as you lift yourself.
  • Don’t be a Hero. If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
  • It is important to keep a heavy object as close to the body while lifting and carrying.
  • For all those who love to shop around! Carrying two small objects in each hand is often easier than carrying a single heavy bag.
Sitting

  • Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
  • Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back.
  • It is very important to get up after every 30-40 minutes after prolonged sitting and take a break.


  • Reaching an object

    • If you have to pick or lift something that is kept overhead, stand on a stool.
    • While lifting anything off the floor, Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items, instead go down on your knees and pick it up.
    Healthy Diet and Exercise

    • Your spine carries you around and more load you put on your back, more trouble you are inviting. Try to lose weight especially if you have a spine problem.
    • “Beer belly” is worse and so common. It puts a lot of strain on your low back and muscles.
    • The most efficient and effective way to reduce weight is by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
    • Consult with your doc before starting any exercise if you have a spine problem since if not done correctly the problem may get worse.


    Yoga

    • Yoga is strongly recommended for the general well-being of the spine.
    • It allows for flexibility and strengthens your spine.


    Sleeping

    • If you have a back pain or a pain traveling down your legs, a pillow under the knee helps.
    • Lying on one side with a pillow between your knees may reduce the pressure on your back.
    • Basic Thumb Rule: Avoid any position which you find uncomfortable.
    • Mattress: Normally, the type of mattress does not really matter for your spine unless it starts sagging in the middle.
    • While sleeping on your side, try to use an appropriate sized pillow so that your neck does not hang.


    Quit Smoking

    • It is proven in various studies that smokers have more spine related problems than non-smokers.
    • Smoking reduces the amount of blood supply to your spine causing problems which are more than non-smokers.


    These simple steps will help you keep your spine in good shape, making you a healthier, happier and a more active person.




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