By Miles Lipman - Osteopath
The spine is an important part of human anatomy that provides both structure and support. A healthy spine allows us to move freely whilst maintaining an upright posture. As an osteopath, I see many patients who are suffering from chronic back pain, movement restrictions or other spinal injuries. Poor lifestyle habits are often a contributing factor to the development of these spinal complaints. In this blog post I’ll share some tips for maintaining a healthy spine and preventing injury:
1. Engage in regular exercise
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your spine. Exercise can help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve blood flow and improve flexibility. Pilates, yoga and swimming are low-impact exercises that may be particularly beneficial for spinal health.
2. Protect your spine by utilising proper lifting technique:
Good lifting techniques can help to prevent damage or injury to the spine. When lifting an object, it is important to do the following:
- Maintain a wide stance providing a stable base of support
- Squat down close to the object by bending at the hips and knees
- Keep the object as close to your body as possible
- Keep a straight back and slowly lift by straightening your knees and hips
- Whilst carrying the object pivot your feet and avoid twisting
3. Sleeping position:
Sleeping flat on your back is the recommended positioning for spinal health. Sleeping in this neutral position can help to evenly distribute body weight and reduce the stress placed on the spine. Some people may find this position more comfortable when they place a pillow underneath their knees.
For side sleepers, placing a pillow between your knees can improve the alignment of the spine hips and pelvis.
4. Maintain a healthy weight:
Carrying excess body weight places extra load and stress on your spine. Eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing spinal problems.
These lifestyle tips can reduce the load placed on your spine, helping to prevent injury or damage. If you ever experience discomfort or pain, don’t hesitate to seek the help of an osteopath who can provide personalised treatment, exercises and advice.
If you need extra support in managing your back pain or more specific advise on how to maintain a healthy spine then please visit us in clinic. Bookings available with our Osteopaths, Myotherapists and Clinical Pilates Instructors at Appy Movement.