October is National Chiropractic Health Month, and the sad truth is that many people don’t take proper care of their spines. In addition to causing overall discomfort, poor spinal health can also result in injuries later on.
The American Chiropractic Association explains that chiropractic care and other non-drug approaches are becoming more widely recognized for their value as effective pain management for many kinds of chronic non-cancer pain, including back pain. Goshen Health’s team of orthopedic experts offers both surgical and non-surgical options to help patients minimize pain and get back to normal lives.
Whether or not you already deal with spine problems, do your health a favor and treat your spine to a little pampering. Some of the following steps can be very simple to incorporate into your life, while others may take a little more work. But taking good care of your spine is always worth it if it helps or prevents chronic pain.
Check your posture. If you spend a lot of time sitting, make sure that your chair and desk support your spine ergonomically. Check into working at a stand-up desk or even one that can be raised and lowered to vary your position.
Exercise regularly. Live a lifestyle that includes plenty of low- or no-impact exercise for spinal health. Walking, stretching, strength training and water exercises are a few examples of low-impact workouts you can do to keep your spine in good health.
Sleep well. Be sure your mattress and pillow are suited to the way you sleep. There are essentially three different mattress types: coil innerspring, air and/or gel, and memory foam. There are, of course, pros and cons of each, but generally, memory foam mattresses are considered the gold standard for people with joint and muscle pain. Pillows are made with varying firmness for those who sleep on their back, side or stomach. Purchasing the right products will go a long way toward alleviating pain that comes from the misalignment of the spine during sleep.
Hydrate. Stay well-hydrated, especially as you age. Your spinal discs are filled with fluid and vulnerable to dehydration. Keeping your fluid intake up is essential to maintaining the elasticity of bodily tissues and the fluidity of joints.
Lift correctly. One of the easiest ways to damage your spine is using incorrect form when lifting objects. Stand as close to the object as you can and bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the item you are lifting. Then, use your legs to pull the item up rather than your back. If the item is heavy, ask for help — don’t try to lift it yourself.
Most importantly, listen to your body. If you are experiencing back problems or pain, don’t ignore it. When left untreated, spinal problems can worsen with time. Occasional pain is common, but if you’re experiencing persistent pain, be careful not to overdo it at the gym and contact your primary care physician to learn what’s causing your pain and what can be done about it.
To learn more about how Goshen Health treats orthopedic pain, give us a call at (574) 534-2548.
Posted: 10/14/2016 by
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise