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Ten Things You Can Do This Year to Improve Spine Health

Back pain can torment and interfere with your daily life, but there are practical back pain solutions which will help prevent or reduce most back problems. Keeping your back strong and in good shape is important for keeping pain at bay. Make a New Year’s Resolution to incorporate these 10 Tips into your routine to help strengthen your back and improve problematic back issues.

  1. Maintain good posture: Poor posture creates stress on your spine, leading to anatomical changes that cause problems for joints, muscles, and discs. There are a variety of exercises to help improve your posture and spine health. You can also play “Mom” by putting reminders for yourself on sticky notes or your phone that prompt you to stand and sit up straight.
  2. Core Strengthening Exercises: It is fairly well known that a strong core helps to stabilize the spine. Exercises like planks or pilates ball routines will strengthen abdominals and the muscles which support the back.
  3. Use proper form when lifting heavy objects: Use the legs to lift, not the back! Always start by kneeling to lift, then stand while keeping the weight close to the body. If it’s really heavy, common sense dictates to ask someone for help.
  4. Hold the phone correctly: When trying to keep hands free while talking on the phone, we usually resort to the good old shoulder for keeping the phone pressed to our ear. But doing this puts strain on your neck, shoulders and spine which contributes to back pain. Try using the speakerphone instead, to ensure your head and neck are aligned at a more natural angle.
  5. Keep moving at work: Working at a desk for the entire day while sitting in the same position increases the chances for back problems. Hunching your upper back with your head tilted forward causes an uneven distribution of weight, which tugs on the spine and causes pain in the cervical and thoracic region of the spine. Using an ergonomic desk that can be raised and lowered while working will enable you to get the job done in both standing and sitting positions. This method is extremely beneficial to your overall spine health.
  6. Drink water: The vertebral discs are composed of water. In fact, 88% of the disc is water! Becoming dehydrated accelerates degenerative discs, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  7. Don't smoke: Smoking is bad for the vertebral discs, as it can restrict blood flow.
  8. Get a good night's sleep: The right amount of sleep every night is essential to good health, but take it one step further and make sure that you have a comfortable bed and a pillow that provides the right level of support. Try sleeping with a pillow beneath or between your knees to help align the spine.
  9. Stay flexible: Tight muscles can create a misaligned spine, which is a precursor to back pain. Practice simple stretching exercises daily, or try Yoga classes.
  10. Exercise in General: Benefits of aerobic and anaerobic exercise are strong bones and joints plus a healthy cardiovascular system, all of which are a benefit to spine health.

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For back pain solutions, contact Dr. Neil Badlani. Often touted as the Best Spine Surgeon in Houston, Dr. Badlani offers minimally invasive techniques to relieve painful spine conditions.