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Great Tips for a Great Spine

Tips for A Happy & Healthy SpineAt some point or another, you will probably experience lower back pain in your life. While it may cause a lot of angst and discomfort, there are habits that that you could incorporate to help alleviate the pain. Keep your spine happy and healthy with these five tips:

Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time –  Sitting for an extended period of time can add extra pressure to your spine, especially your lower back. If you’re spend a majority of your time sitting due to work or your lifestyle, invest in a cushion or pillow and place it between your back and chair to help ease the pressure on your spine. Take a few breaks to get up, stretch and walk around.

Get a massage – the benefits of massage therapy are numerous. Not only does it help you feel relaxed, it helps stimulate blood flow which leads to better circulations and can increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. A targeted medical massage will also help loosen tense muscles and improve flexibility which can help you feel better right away.

Improve your posture – Remember when your mom or dad would lecture you not to slouch at the dinner table? There’s a reason why. When you slouch, you are forcing the muscles and tendons in your lower back to work even harder to support the weight of your body.  Additionally, your head and shoulders typically fall forward when you slouch which places strain on your neck – this can lead to back and shoulder pains and even headaches. Slouching can also affect your digestive system; the crunched position can lead to your intestines being folded up. If you find your shoulders are shrugged up and close to your ears, relax them. Sitting up straight with your shoulders back is not only good for your spine but exudes confidence as well.

Ergonomics is important too – check the ergonomics of your desk to ensure it is in your favor. Ensuring the computer screen is eye level will lessen the strain on your neck and purchase an ergonomic-friendly chair. Sitting back in your chair will naturally encourage you to sit up straight as well. It can take a lot of practice to constantly be sitting up straight but being conscious of your posture will help greatly.

Invest in a good mattress – you spend a lot of your life sleeping. In fact, studies show you spend 1/3 of your life on the mattress if you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. A cheap mattress can not only worsen your back pain but also cause it so; this is why it is imperative to invest in a good one. Studies have found that a medium firm mattress is better than a firm mattress; a mattress that is too firm can actually cause pain on pressure points and a medium-firm one will let your body sink in naturally. You may be spending a little more initially when you purchase a great mattress but you’ll be saving in the long run on restless nights and your health.

Eat right – Your diet can really play a role in a happy and healthy spine. Foods high in calcium, like yogurt, milk and leafy greens such as kale and bok choy, can help build and maintain bone mass and prevent osteoporosis. Opt for foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body – these include omega-3 coldwater fish like salmon and tuna and fruits and vegetables such as carrots, grapes and cherries. Drinking green tea has many benefits, one of them being its ability to reduce inflammation.

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