Bent Out of Shape

Back pain is  by far one of the most common complaints amongst adults, and it can make you uncomfortable, to say the least, or even hard for you to live your life and participate in your average daily activities. While some people suffer from severe medical conditions related to diseases, heredity, or the after-effects of old injuries, the truth is that most people who suffer from back pain can not only do something about it; they can actually prevent it. By tailoring your environment and behaviors, you can stave off the spine and neck problems that so many people suffer and ensure better health and less pain overall. Here are just a few tips to keep your spine and neck in ship shape, functioning properly and feeling great.

1.  Get your zees. Sleeping not only gives your body the down time it needs to heal itself, but the way you sleep can also have a marked effect on the health of your spine and neck, and the type of bedding you use can play a role. You’ll want to start with a mattress that offers the right level of support for your body, so it pays to invest in a quality product that is designed for optimum spinal health. You should go the extra mile and get a supportive pillow that can provide proper neck alignment, as well. And don’t forget that the position you sleep in can make a difference. Ideally, you should sleep on your back or side. You may feel more comfortable on your stomach, but this is the position most likely to put unnecessary stress on your spinal column.

2.  Stretch daily. Our muscles tend to get tight from stored tension or sitting in one position for too long, and stretching is a great way to keep your neck, your back, and your entire body flexible. In case you didn’t know, stiffness in other areas of the body (your legs, for example) can also affect your spinal health, so it’s important to stretch your whole body each day in order to maintain your range of motion and avoid injury. As a result, you’ll feel better all around.

3.  Use ergonomic office solutions. People have been working office jobs long enough that we now understand the extent to which sitting in one position for long periods of time, day after day, can negatively impact our bodies, and especially our spine and neck. But if you find that your job calls for spending your time hunched over a desk, tapping away at a keyboard, you’ll be happy to hear that there are plenty of ergonomic products designed to keep your body in the correct posture for optimum health. With chairs, desks, keyboards, and other ergonomic solutions at your disposal you should ba able to avoid many of the painful symptoms commonly associated with a desk job.

4.  Stay in shape. Strong musculature helps to support your spine and neck, keeping them in alignment and protecting them from harm. So developing an exercise regimen that includes cardio to keep you at a healthy weight and weight training to increase muscle tone and/or mass is a great way to promote a healthy neck and spine.

5.  Don’t avoid the doctor. You may be hesitant to see your regular physician or find a specialist when it comes to spine and neck pain, assuming that it will go away on its own. But considering how debilitating such conditions can become when left untreated, you should speak to a professional right away. You could see a chiropractor or visit a specialty office like Conquest MD Spine Care and Sports Medicine, depending on the particular problem you’re facing. But failing to see your doctor in the hopes that everything will magically resolve itself is a good recipe for ongoing back pain or worse spinal issues in the future.

photo by: danabooo