5 Ways Kenosha Residents Can Protect Their Spines
Anyone who has ever, or is currently, suffering from spinal problems knows how painful this can be. Aside from the discomfort, having a weak spine can make you less productive and unable to enjoy regular activities you once did with ease. When your spine is damaged, your overall health can be compromised. Below are some basic guidelines for Kenosha residents to consider regarding their spine health.
Do Specific Exercises
Toning your lower back and abdominal muscles is important for good posture and alleviating future pain associated with posture. The best exercises for promoting a strong spine are those that strengthen the muscles, which are the ones responsible for keeping your spine anatomically straight. Additionally, stretching your entire body on a regular basis will help increase flexibility, which can then lead to fuller ranges of motion. Aerobic exercises are also beneficial because they help to strengthen the heart and lungs, while improving circulation. The key with these types of exercise to be cognizant of your posture and muscle use during each one. For example, when running or walking, you should try to keep your upper body erect and not leaning forward too much. This is a sign of weak core muscles, and will eventually cause other problems if not strengthened.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Wearing proper footwear is critical to your body’s alignment. For optimal support wear sneakers or shoes that have a rigid heel counter, along with a firm midsole. Shoes with laces usually give more support than footwear with Velcro straps or loafers, but when wearing laced shoes you should be sure they are laced up nice and tight – but not too tight. The point of this is the keep your feet as stable as possible.If you’re considering shoes for high-intensity activities such as running make sure they have good motion control built in. Being more stable during any activity will increase your chances of staying upright and not overusing muscles and tendons around your spine for stabilization.
Sleep on a Supportive Mattress
Mattress companies often tout that people spend at least one-third of their life on a bed, so it’s important to have a high-quality one. It’s even more important to consider this when you already have back issues. It’s all about spine alignment during your resting hours, for the right mattress to be effective. If you can sleep on your side, this decreases pressure on your back from both resting on both your back and your stomach. Tucking a pillow between your legs can help relieve pressure off your hips, and thus contribute to a healthier night’s rest for your spine, bones, and muscles.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight, it will benefit you to start a weight-management program. Excessive weight on your spine can lead to bulging discs and other associated problems. Shedding excess pounds can significantly reduce the amount of wear and tear on your spinal discs during everyday activities. Even if your discs have already suffered from some damage, weight loss can still benefit your spine.
Eat the Right Foods and Take Supplements As Needed
What you eat can also affect your spine. Include plenty of lean proteins, fresh veggies, fruits and healthy fats in your diet. You really are what you eat, so if you consume wholesome foods these nutrients are then passed on to the rest of your body – including the muscles that support your spine. Moreover, take a daily multivitamin to ensure you are receiving enough calcium, magnesium, and zinc. If a blood test indicates a vitamin D deficiency, take a vitamin D supplement as directed by your doctor.
Other Considerations and Warnings
Don’t sit for long periods of time. You may think that the seated position isn’t harmful because it feels like you’re resting. But sitting causes a greater load on the lumbar discs, located in the lower spine, than standing does. Avoid leaning forward or slouching when you sit at a desk. Consider a professional evaluation of your office or workstation setup to find out if you are causing unnecessary stress to your body with what you currently do.
When you carry heavy items, always lift with your legs – never your back. Instead of bending, squat down to pick up an item and then stand. This is advice that goes ignored year after year as people then report to their doctors that they have severe back pain, but don’t know what it came from. You’re back does a lot more work than you think it does – even when you think you’re only using your arms or your legs.
Your spine is one of the most important parts of your body as far as how it functions and other functions that depend on it. If you have been experiencing back pain or other back-related issues, you should see a spine specialist. Here at Branko Prpa Spine Surgery, we offer exceptional, personalized care in a comfortable and caring environment. Contact us today to find out how we can help keep your spine as healthy as possible so you can live a pain-free life.