The spine is a load-bearing structure essential in keeping you stable while you move around and change postures. Despite its strength and durability, the spine can still suffer injuries due to acute trauma or chronic diseases. Even if not all accidents are preventable, there are many ways to reduce the risk of spinal injuries drastically. Learning how to care for your back is essential to keep your spine safe and pain-free.
Diet & Exercise for Spinal Health
The spine consists of several vertebrae, which are bones working together to support your weight and protect the spinal cord. A healthy diet is necessary for strong bones, and people receiving poor nutrition are more likely to suffer from spinal disorders.
In particular, you need to take enough minerals such as calcium. Your bones incorporate calcium and other minerals into their structure, increasing their ability to withstand mechanical shocks. You should also consume enough vitamin D, which allows your body to absorb calcium better. Even if you receive adequate calcium levels in your diet, vitamin D deficiency can make your spine vulnerable to osteoporosis and fractures.
Aside from getting the right nutrition, you should also exercise regularly to maintain bone strength. In particular, aim to do strength training exercises for your core muscles. These exercises target the muscles that support your spine, allowing them to provide better support. Moderate-impact cardiovascular exercises slow down mineral loss and increase the effectiveness of your cardiovascular system in delivering nutrients to bones and other bodily tissues.
Meanwhile, flexibility and stability exercises train your body to maintain better posture and reduce your chances of encountering falls and other accidents.
Ensuring proper posture is essential in keeping your spine healthy, especially if you tend to sit or stand for most of the day. An important rule is to keep your posture neutral. Avoid slouching, which can put uneven pressure on your vertebrae. When sitting, make sure that you’re using a stable chair and that there aren’t any items in your back pockets. Adjust the chair height to keep your feet flat on the floor and your thighs parallel to the ground. It helps to change positions frequently. You can take short strolls during breaks to allow your muscles to relieve tension.
If your occupation requires frequent movement, avoid unnecessary twisting or bending motions. Repetitive stress can damage your spine after several years.
If you need to lift heavy objects, always keep a neutral back position at all times. Use lifting objects, such as carts, if they are available. Engage your core muscles and use your legs when you lift things. It also helps to keep the object close to your body.
Seek Treatment from a Spine Specialist
If you already feel some back discomfort, don’t tough it out. Consult with your doctor if you feel pain that doesn’t go away with home remedies like hot compresses. Seek medical advice if you also feel other symptoms, such as leg weakness or pain that radiates down to your lower extremities.
These symptoms may indicate a degenerative spinal disease. Quick treatment can give you better outcomes and eliminate the need for more expensive options.
Spine Specialist in Rochester Hills, Michigan
A well-balanced diet and adequate exercise are strong promoters of spinal health. Proper posture prevents additional back strain, while early treatment allows you to resolve issues before they worsen. A crucial part of maintaining spinal health is working with medical professionals who provide comprehensive orthopedic services.
Located in Rochester Hills and with satellite offices in Bad Axe and Royal Oak, Ahlgren Spine provides people in Michigan with access to high-quality orthopedic treatment. Our experts offer both conservative and surgical options to treat and resolve various spinal conditions. Learn more by calling us at (248) 215-8080 or scheduling a consultation through our online appointment form.