To help keep your back in the best of health, board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Harvinder Bedi and our team here at Camelback Spine Care pulled together five tips for promoting back health, which we review here.
1. Build strength
At the heart of your back is your spine, which is surrounded by a number of soft connective tissues. When healthy, these tissues â€” namely your muscles â€” can relieve much of the pressure on your back and prevent premature degeneration along your spine.
To better support your spine, itâ€™s imperative that you strengthen the surrounding muscles, which not only means those muscles that run along your spine, but your abdominal muscles, as well. By strengthening your core muscles, you can greatly improve the function and longevity of your spine.Â
To get you started, click here for some great core-strengthening exercises.
2. Posture matters
Humans are meant to move, but modern society has us sitting in front of desks for hours each day, which can wreak havoc on our backs. While computer work is often unavoidable, the way you sit at your desk can make all the difference in the health of your spine.
Good sitting posture includes:
- Placing both feet flat on the floor
- Sit with your back straight and your shoulders back
- Distribute your weight evenly on your hips
A great way to find the correct position is to sit in your chair and arch your back. Now, release this position by about 10 degrees so that all three natural curves of your back are in contact with the back of your chair.
3. Stretch it out â€¦ often
If youâ€™re holding your back in one position for long periods, take a break at least once an hour to walk around and stretch your back. Even simple exercises like touching your toes can help stretch out your spine.
4. Lift with caution
Youâ€™ve probably heard about, â€œlifting with your knees,â€ when youâ€™re trying to pick up something thatâ€™s quite heavy. What this means is that you should enlist other areas of your body to help with the effort and not rely solely on your back.
So, if you have a box that you need to lift, bend with your knees, keep your back straight, and lift. If you find the task difficult, donâ€™t try to be a hero and enlist some help instead. Your back will thank you.
5. Stay active
Since our lives are more sedentary than our bodies are designed for, itâ€™s important that you move as much as you can. Take the opportunity to walk whenever possible, which helps strengthen and stretch your back.Â
For example, if you drive to the grocery store, donâ€™t circle around to find the nearest parking spot to the entrance. Use the opportunity to park further away so you can get a little exercise.
Treating back pain
If, despite your best efforts, you develop back pain, weâ€™re here to help. We offer treatments for a host of spine-related problems, including:
If youâ€™d like to learn more about ways to better support your back, or you need treatment for back pain, contact the friendly staff at one of our offices in Peoria or Phoenix, Arizona,