Tips for a Healthy Spine

4 July 2015
Check your back

5 Tips to Maintain Spinal Health

Anyone who’s been exposed to a desk job, long school hours, or driving for an extending period of time has likely dealt with an alignment problem. The effects of activities like these may create a misalignment that’s not immediately obvious. Quite often, spinal issues can occur due to an accumulation of small things, all adding up. Pain is a sign that the body is in crisis – it’s the last symptom to come up, however it’s the first to go. Therefore it’s not the best indicator of how well your body is doing.

When we lose proper alignment, we see joints begin wear down, and slowly degenerate. This is due to uneven weight distribution through the joints. As a chiropractor, I understand the human body is better able to deal with stressors when there is balance in the spine, allowing the nervous system to work free of any structural interference. The focus of chiropractic care is to keep the spine moving freely and restore alignment, which enhances the function of the nervous system in order to allow the body to fully express its maximum potential and work optimally.

To help maintain proper alignment, follow these tips:

1. Monitor your posture:
Neutral spine positioning is important – this is when the pelvis, rib cage and skull are aligned on top of each other, preventing overload at any one vertebrae in the spine. Monitor that your head isn’t dropping too far forward, and your shoulders are back. When you’re in this position, every movement from it activates the core muscles. When we’re in alignment, we exert the least amount of energy to initiate and maintain movement, we have more balance, and there’s less stress on the weight bearing joints of the body, such as the hips, knees and lower back. Be mindful of how much time you spend sitting – try take regular breaks from the desk to change up the prolonged posture, create blood flow and oxygen around the body.

2. Use core exercises to create stability:
Stabilization consists of exercises that strengthen the core muscles of the back and abdomen so your spine can achieve neutral posture easier. These may include squats, push-ups, planks, and lunges. Look out for a beginners Pilates class, or we can give you some basic core exercises at your next consult.

3. Practice yoga.
Yoga is great for creating strength, flexibility and balance within the body. It’s also a great technique for stress reduction. If you’ve never tried yoga before, begin with a gentle class like Restorative yoga, particularly if you have any back pain.

4. Maintain a healthy weight.
A healthy weight is essential for so many good things in life. When it comes to proper alignment, keeping your weight down can have benefits. If you are moderately overweight, there will be increased stress on joints and muscles that are already misaligned and dysfunctional, especially the lower back, hips and knees. This accelerates spinal and joint degeneration.

5. Have maintenance Chiropractic check ups!
The best first step to achieving proper posture is to address the very thing that is causing the problem in the first place: spinal misalignment. A chiropractor will be able to diagnose and correct alignment issues in the spine and give you the starting point for achieving better posture.

Check your back and check in for a service at Melbourne Wellness Chiropractic