From early on, we should learn how to take good care of our spine. Not doing this can lead to an achy back and limited mobility, both of which downgrades the quality of our life.
There’s nothing hard about it, so worry not. All it takes is to incorporate proper body mechanics and healthy habits into your daily lifestyle.
So, here are the things you can do to keep your spine, including neck and back, healthy and happy:
1) Adopt a healthy lifestyle
You can also do abdominal exercises which strengthen the back and pelvis. Besides that, you can do some stretching to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Also, reduce or quit your smoking and stay away from areas with lots of second-hand smoke. Studies show that smoking damages the arteries in your spinal joints and discs, leading to back pain.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, you’ll be able to take care of your spine and increase its ability to treat minor tissue injuries around your spine.
2) Sleep correctly and adequately
For a healthy spine, you should sleep on a mattress with the right firmness. This is the one on which you feel your back supported and comfortable throughout the night.
For added support to the lower back, put pillows under your knees if you sleep on your back or in-between them when you sleep facing the side.
Speaking of which, we don’t recommend sleeping on your stomach. That’s because, with this sleeping position, your body is aligned crookedly and your spine doesn’t get any support at all.
Once you get the mattress part down, you should focus on getting adequate rest, preferably 7 to 9 hours every night. Also, refrain from sleeping too late—going to bed between 9:30 to 10:15 PM should be a good-enough time window.
3) Lift items in the right way
There’s a correct way to lift items. You shouldn’t just carry them in just any random way like using one hand all of a sudden or twisting a load to position it on another side.
Instead, you should bend your hip and knees down, carry a load with both hands, keep it close to you, and gradually stand up while holding it.
As much as possible don’t carry a load above the waist because this puts more pressure on your body, especially the back, as the item becomes heavier.
Also, find ways to avoid stressing your back. For example, you can use a cart if you have to carry multiple stuff, push a box instead of pulling it, and call for assistance if you have to lift a large item.
4) Set up an ergonomic workstation
We often go about the day without being aware of how our backs are affected. Like, for instance, you may look at the computer monitor at a downward angle at work, slouch while working, or wear shoes without ample support.
You have to change them because they will make you feel pain, and thus, decrease your office productivity. More so, they can develop to be a back problem that’s more than just an occasional nag, and that you’ll face as you age.
As one solution to that, you may consider getting an ergonomic chair, otherwise, put a soft pillow against your lumbar in the chair. To raise the monitor level, you can put the monitor on top of a stack of books or change your table.
Also, you might want to invest in a standing desk. There are models which allow you to alternate between sitting and standing and hence keep your back comfortable all of the time.