8 ways to take care of your spine every day

Back pain isn’t always caused by an injury sustained during an accident or being at a greater risk of developing spinal injuries. A bad back can be caused by simple things you do every day without realizing. The position you sleep in, the chair you sit on, and the way you carry heavy items can all affect how your back feels. 

alignment, your spine

Making small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on your spine. If you’re ready to say goodbye to spinal discomfort, try doing some of the helpful tips and tricks below:

1. Do strengthening back exercises at home

Exercise is always a good idea, but it’s particularly useful if you’re suffering from back pain. There are many different types of workouts you can do to improve your spine, depending on the problems it’s causing you. Here are just a few exercises that can help

  • Weight lifting builds muscle mass which can help increase bone density
  • Pilates and yoga include stretches that can keep your muscles flexible and spinal cord healthy
  • Walking increases blood flow to your spine and stretches your muscles
  • Core workouts engage your abdominal muscles, taking pressure off your spine
  • In-water workouts provide additional support, allowing you to carry out strengthening exercises, even if you have chronic back pain

2. Give it time to relax

Everyday life puts a lot of pressure and stress on your spine. To keep it in optimum condition, you need to give it time to relax. Here are some of the best ways:

  • Treating yourself to regular therapeutic massages
  • Take a short walk from your desk every hour to loosen up your spine
  • Invest in a firm mattress and try to sleep on your back or your side
  • Stand upright for a few minutes after bending forward for a long time (doing something such as gardening) to allow your spinal tissues to recover

3. Eat a healthy diet

What you eat can affect how strong and healthy your spine is. Calcium is incredibly important and can help you avoid conditions such as osteoporosis. Without vitamin D, your body struggles to absorb calcium, making it equally important. Magnesium is another helpful nutrient to include in your diet. It can help the muscles in your body contract and relax.

4. Invest in the right office setup

If you work at a desk, you most likely spend a considerable amount of time each day sitting and looking at a screen. To help keep your spine healthy, it’s a great idea to invest in the proper equipment and take the time to carefully arrange your space.

An ergonomic chair or a standing desk can help take additional pressure off your spine. If neither of these is an option, you can adjust your current setup to improve your spine’s health:

  • Keep your monitor an arm’s length away from your body
  • Make sure your eye level is 2-3 inches below the top of your monitor
  • Ensure your elbows are bent at a 90° angle
  • Keep your wrists flat at the keyboard, not angled
  • Have your knees level with or slightly lower than your hips

5. Protect your back while lifting

Lifting heavy things incorrectly is one of the easiest ways to accidentally damage your back. Whenever you’re lifting anything remotely heavy, such as grocery bags or a child, make sure you protect your back to avoid discomfort and pain. This is how to properly lift heavy items:

  • Bend at your knees — not your lower back
  • Pivot your hips and feet instead of twisting your lower back
  • Hold the heavy item close to your chest while you straighten your spine

6. Remove daily stressors

Even tiny amounts of pressure can put unnecessary stress on your spine and cause pain. Here are a few ways to protect your back from everyday activities:

  • When using a vacuum cleaner, hold the vacuum in front of your body with both hands and keep your arm movements small while cleaning
  • While opening a door, stand directly in front of the handle and pull it in a perpendicular motion toward your body
  • When gardening, keep one arm rested on your thigh while slightly bending your knees to prevent large arm movements

7. Protect your back first thing in the morning

When you sleep at night, the pressure in your spinal discs increases substantially. While you’re sleeping, your discs are fully hydrated and become increasingly at risk of herniation when you bend down or lift things.

To avoid spinal injuries and hernias, try and keep your back straight for an hour after getting out of bed. This helps your discs get back to their normal pressure so they can withstand loads more effectively.

8. Make regular chiropractor appointments

One of the best ways to keep on top of your spinal health is to regularly see your chiropractor. They can assess the condition of your spine and give you the appropriate adjustments and massages that can combat everyday wear and tear. They may also be able to diagnose small problems early before they develop into painful, chronic conditions.

You can do it

Small things you do without thinking every day, such as pulling weeds from your garden or sitting at your desk, can really impact the condition of your spine. It can be tough to break bad habits. But if you introduce just a couple of these small tips, you’ll be surprised at the big difference you notice in your back pain.