It is estimated that approximately 80-90% of the population will experience spinal pain at some point during their lifetime. Individuals who are obese or overweight, smoke, lift heavy objects, or have experienced back pain in the past are at a much higher risk than others of living with spinal pain. Unfortunately, many people overlook the importance of a healthy spine. If you’ve ever had back pain of any kind, there’s a good chance you’ve been reminded of this. As we age, the spine becomes susceptible to regular wear and tear, as well as a host of conditions and illnesses that may compromise your overall quality of life. This is why it is so important to educate yourself about what it takes to maintain a healthy spine. Because spine pain affects so many people, it is clear that this is something that needs to be addressed.
What is the Spine?
Before we go over a few tips to keep your spine happy and healthy as you age, let’s look at what, exactly, the spine is. The spine is the body’s central support structure. It not only keeps us upright, but it connects all the various components of the skeleton, such as the head, chest, pelvis, shoulders, arms, and legs. The spine is composed of a chain of bones, as well as ligaments and spinal discs. Everyone’s spine is different and the length will depend on your actual height. On average, a woman’s spine is 61 cm and a man’s is 71 cm. There are many important functions of the spine, from carrying the weight of the head, torso, and arms, to providing the body with widespread mobility in all different directions.
Tips for Good Spine Health
Understanding how to protect your spine when standing, lifting, sitting, reaching and bending, and carrying is extremely important to your overall health and wellness. In addition, maintaining a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly will contribute to the health of your spine. Let’s now look at 10 of our favorite tips for a healthy spine:
- When standing, make sure your knees are slightly bent and one foot is placed just in front of the other. This will take the pressure off of the lower back.
- When lifting, make sure you never twist the back, as this can compromise the spine
- When sitting, keep your knees higher than your hips, hold your head upright, and make sure your back is straight
- Never slouch your shoulders forward when sitting
- If possible, maintain the natural curve in your lower back when sitting
- Never bend at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table
- When reaching for an item, kneel on one knee while keeping the other foot flat on the floor
- When carrying items, try and keep them as close to your body as you can
- If possible, carry two small objects in each hand rather than one large item
- Ask for help! Whether you are lifting a heavy item or carrying something, asking for assistance will help protect your spine
These tips should help you protect your back and spine, whether you are standing, sitting, walking, or lifting items. If you are experiencing back or neck pain of any kind, please contact Premier Injury Clinics of DFW. As a leading Dallas injury and accident chiropractic clinic, we can treat a wide range of conditions of the spine, helping you achieve optimal health and wellness and live pain-free.