As people get older, it is usual to encounter pain in different parts of the body. When it comes to the spine, it is one of the body parts that has provided people support their entire life, yet they fail to take enough care of it.
However, one can never be too late to begin caring for the spine. If you are experiencing any sort of discomfort or pain in your spinal area, do not make the mistake of ignoring it. It is a good idea to approach spine experts from Central NJ Spine, in case of any spinal discomfort.
Below are eight key points you can practice to improve the health of your spine as you age:
Allow your spine to relax while you are asleep
Your spine is engaged all day to support your body. Therefore, when you go to sleep, it is also the time for your spine to relax and rejuvenate, due to which you need to be careful about a few factors while sleeping:
- Make sure to get a firm mattress so that it can provide strong backing to the spine. Try to avoid soft mattresses that make the spine slump. Nowadays, there is a wide range of mattresses to choose from, available in the market.
- Keep your spine naturally straightened. Place a pillow below the knees to decrease strain on the lower back if you are a back sleeper. For the side sleepers, set a cushion within the knees to keep the hips adjusted. Many people can also use a neck pillow, which can be very helpful as it strengthens the cervical spine.
Train your core to improve your abs and back muscles
The body’s core muscles should be healthy and flexible to support your spine and take the weight of your lower back.
However, there isn’t enough use of the core muscles in our day-to-day life due to the lack of physical activity. One must work out regularly to have toned abs and back. You can also contact your doctor to find out which exercise may be suitable for you.
Your shoes need to assist your spine
Whether it’s your workout shoes or the casual ones you wear, they play an essential role in supporting your lower back. A pair of suitable shoes gives support that encourages the spine and body to stay in shape.
Have a good diet
Your diet performs a crucial role in sustaining the health of your spine. Make sure to include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes in your daily diet as they are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory factors.
Also, try to reduce the number of processed foods you intake and replace them with fresh food. Having a healthy diet will help you sustain a healthy body, decrease stress on your spine, and reduce back pain.
Practice good sitting positions and restrict total sitting time
The discs in the lower spine get more stressed while sitting than standing. Thus, it is advisable to avoid long periods of sitting that can give rise to a painful back. Furthermore, people often have the tendency to slouch while they spend a long time sitting at a desk and looking at a laptop screen.
Slouching can be very bad for your spinal cord as it may give rise to pain, causing spinal nerve inflammation or compression in the long run. Moreover, selecting the best office chair and practicing the right posture while sitting assist in maintaining the natural curves of your back. If your sitting posture does not support those curves, you may harm your spinal nerves over time.
Try to get up after every hour to take a walk around or simply stand up near the desk intermittently during the day. You should move your spine to ensure it stays healthy.
Use your pillow by matching your sleeping position
While sleeping, use a pillow that supports the curve of your neck and lower back. Depending on your sleep position, you will have to place the pillows in different ways.
- People who sleep on their sides should use a more solid pillow so that the neck and head are placed in the middle of the shoulders. Also, try to put a pillow within your legs to remove the stress from your lower spine.
- People who sleep on their backs should use a pillow that has medium thickness or a flat pillow so that the location of the neck isn’t very high. Moreover, put a pillow below your knees to maintain the normal curve of your lower back.
Positions like sleeping on the tummy or curling up should be avoided as these positions can make the back more prone to injury or pain.
Try to quit smoking
Smoking can hamper the spinal tissue in many ways, like weakening the bones and making back pain worse. It doubles the likelihood of acquiring degenerative spinal ailments and back problems by damaging the vascular arrangements of your spinal cord and joints. Hence, if you have the habit of smoking, try to quit it for better spinal health.
Take occasional walks to support your spine
The trunk, core, and lower back muscles have an essential role in keeping the balance and mobility of your lower back. Walking helps in making the muscles stronger that support your spinal cord. However, these muscles can become weak from an inactive lifestyle, creating malalignment of the bone.
Here are a few benefits that you can get from walking:
- It makes your core muscles stronger to keep your body straight
- Supporting your spinal soft tissues with essential nutrients
- Improving the flexibility of your spine
- Promoting balance
- Growing your bone structure
We hope the information given in the article helps you to live a healthy life by avoiding preventable back and neck pain as you grow older. For more information and guidance, stay connected. If you have any questions, comment below.