It's that time of year again - the beginning of the year when our New Year's resolutions are still fresh in your mind.
Most people make resolutions about losing weight, gaining muscle, writing that novel, finding a new job, eating healthier...the list goes on and on.
Since it's still early on in the year, most of us have probably kept up with most of our resolutions. As the months go on, though, most of us slip back into our old habits and make the same resolutions at the beginning of next year.
But, if you want to make a resolution that you will stick to and benefit you in almost every aspect of your life, I have it for you.
Make a New Year's resolution to have a healthy spine. Most of us, especially those of us somewhat "over the hill," have experienced or are experiencing back pain.
The best way to get over your back pain is to make sure your spine stays healthy and functional.
If you are currently suffering from back pain, or you want to do everything you can to prevent it in the coming year, this article is for you.
We will discuss several ways you can keep your spine healthy heading into 2020.
Table Of Contents
- Keep Your Bones Aligned
- Get Daily Exercise
- It Starts With Your Feet
- Laugh and Breathe
- Work Your Core
- Stay Hydrated
- Improve Your Posture
- See A Chiropractor
Keep Your Bones Aligned
Keeping your spine properly aligned and mobile is vital in preventing chronic back pain and tight, painful muscles in your back.
Tight and painful muscles in your back often result from your body fighting against misalignment in your spine.
When your spine becomes misaligned, your body's natural reaction is to prevent further injury to the area.
So, your muscles tighten up to maintain stability in the area. When proper alignment and joint function is restored, your muscles will naturally begin to relax again.
Get Daily Exercise
Exercising every day may seem intimidating, but it's not as bad as you think.
Most of the benefits of daily exercise can be achieved with just 30 minutes of physical activity a day. And that physical activity can be something as simple as going on a 30-minute walk.
Exercising every day will not only decrease your risk of certain diseases like diabetes, but you will also notice a reduction in back pain, headaches, and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms.
It Starts With Your Feet
Your feet impact the rest of your body because they help absorb the shock that comes with every step you take.
Just like the foundation of your home, your feet support the weight of everything above them.
If problems develop in your feet or ankles, even the slightest change in the way you walk can set off a chain reaction of adjustments to your posture and walking biomechanics.
Those changes often put stress on joints higher up in your body and can lead to severe problems and unbearable pain.
A chiropractor or foot care specialist will be able to recommend custom foot orthotics and tell you if you need to invest in more supportive footwear.
Laugh and Breathe
Meditation, long walks, and regular breaks throughout your day can all help you reduce stress.
Lowering your stress can help boost your immune system and decrease chronic pain flare-ups.
Laughing also helps. It doesn't just relieve mental stress, but it also fires off a cascade of physical reactions that can benefit your health.
Studies have shown that laughing can stimulate your heart, muscles, and lungs.
Endorphins are also released after a good laugh session helping to relieve pain throughout your body.
Work Your Core
Your back, as well as your abdominal muscles, make up your core. Your core helps you maintain stability and balance in your body as well as support your spine.
Your core also stabilizes your spine when you lift heavy objects. If you trip over something, your core muscles contract to help you maintain your balance and stop you from falling.
If your core becomes weak, your body won't be able to adapt well to the stress that is placed on it every day.
This makes you more likely to suffer back injuries.
Your body is about 60% water. Water makes up parts of your blood, muscles, skin, and invertebral discs. Staying hydrated is important for your back because your discs are like sponges that absorb a lot of water.
Overnight your discs fill with water when your spine is relaxed and doesn't have the weight of your body compressing it.
Drinking more water during the day keeps your invertebral discs hydrated during your waking hours.
Improve Your Posture
Your spine is made up of three curves; the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Each curve helps balance the weight distribution of your body and minimize the negative impact on your spine.
Runners, for example, pound the ground with their feet during each stride, send force up into their bodies.
Their spine absorbs the pounding force from running the best when it is in an optimal posture.
This means maintaining a backward "C" shaped curve in your neck and lower back.
Over time, good posture can help prevent chronic pain from developing and accelerated spinal degeneration from occurring.
See A Chiropractor
Your spine plays a vital role in your overall health by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning the way it should.
Chiropractors are spinal specialists that not only relieve the pain in your spine but can help improve your overall health as well.
Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the presence of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.
If you'd like to see a chiropractor, contact the team at the Arrowhead Clinic.
They have years of experience relieving patients of their back pain and helping them lead full, healthy lives.
To speak with a member of the team at the Arrowhead Clinic, click the button below.