The health of your spine can significantly dictate how you move, with the spinal column providing the foundations of everyday movements; without a healthy spine, every movement is then altered.
If back pain is something you struggle with, here are some small changes you can make today for a healthier & happier spine.
Did you know that when you’re sitting, the discs in your lower spine hold a load that’s three times heavier than when you’re standing? Today’s lifestyle of sitting (or slouching) at a desk for eight hours a day, five days a week, isn’t doing our backs any favours.
Does your desk chair support your spines natural curvature? It should! Your laptop or desktop screen should be above eye-level and investing in an ergonomically designed chair can make all the difference.
To avoid long stretches of sitting, why not set a silent alarm at two-hour intervals on your smartphone or smart watch? A reminder to stretch your neck, shoulders and lower back, and perhaps to go for a walk around the block to loosen up the spine’s supporting structures.
Walking strengthens your core muscles; these hold your body upright as it should be! Walking also helps improve the flexibility of the structures surrounding your spine.
Go Pillow Shopping
One size does not fit all when it comes to a good pillow. Someone who sleeps on their side will benefit from a thicker pillow, as this will ensure the positioning of their neck and head is in the middle of their shoulders…or if you sleep on your back, you want your pillow to support your spine’s natural curvature, with sufficient support beneath your head, neck, and shoulders.
The taller you are and the broader your shoulders, the thicker your pillow should be (you don’t want to be sinking into a flat pillow), whereas if you’re on the shorter side and petite, you’ll want a slimmer pillow.
Get in the Water
Be it in the pool or at the beach, water exercise is great because water is buoyant, decreasing the downward pull of gravity and providing spinal support. Water’s viscosity also means you’ll be getting a gentle resistance workout – important for bone mineral density and in turn, a stronger spine.
Heat It Up
If a heat pack or hot water bottle soothes your sore back, you might find warm water provides the same benefit. Placing heat on the muscles surrounding your spine can help to raise blood flow, driving nutrients to the affected area and alleviating muscle spasms.
Another small investment worth making for your spinal health:
The Nubax Traction Exercise System.
Aligning the spine with the hips and shoulders, the Nubax device immediately corrects any postural deviations. It also helps to safely separate the vertebrae (the bone ‘building blocks’ that form your spine); this means reduced spinal compression, better blood flow circulation, less constriction on nerve roots, and in turn, a back that moves with ease.
The best part? The Nubax is light and portable, and you can use it by yourself at home. Just three minutes of stretching on the Nubax device, three times a day can make a world of difference.
This means less time being distracted by a bad back, and more time doing what you love – be it gardening, a beach walk, or just lifting up the grandkids… you name it!