Healthy Habits That Support Spine Health

Jul 05, 2023

Healthy Habits That Support Spine Health

The spine serves as the central support system of the body, allowing you to stand upright, move, and perform daily activities. However, a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and lack of exercise can lead to spine-related issues and discomfort that interferes with your daily routine.

The good news is that adopting a few simple yet effective habits helps promote spine health and reduces the risk of spinal problems.

Our team at Coastal Spine in New Jersey specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing painful spinal disorders that decrease mobility.

Check these tips from our doctors regarding habits that help support your spine and keep you moving pain-free:

Practice good posture

Maintaining good posture is essential for a healthy spine. Poor posture, such as slouching or hunching, can put excessive stress on the spine, leading to misalignments and discomfort.

To promote good posture, make a conscious effort to sit and stand with your shoulders back. Keep your head aligned with the spine and your back straight. Avoid prolonged periods of sitting, and take frequent breaks to stretch and walk around, especially if you have a desk job.

And don’t leave good posture at the office. Check your sitting style on the couch or when catching up on the day’s texts or social media.

Engage in regular exercise

Regular physical activity is crucial for spinal health. Exercise strengthens the muscles that support the spine, improves flexibility, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Include cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises in your routine.

Activities like walking, swimming, yoga, and Pilates are particularly beneficial for spine health. However, if you have an existing spinal condition, check with your Coastal Spine provider before starting an exercise program.

Perfect your lifting techniques

Improper lifting techniques can strain the back or neck and lead to spinal injuries. Remember to bend at the knees and hips when lifting heavy objects, keeping your back straight. Hold the object close to your body and lift using your leg muscles rather than relying on your back.

Avoid twisting or jerking while lifting, as these can place excessive stress on the spine. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, ask for assistance.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t only beneficial for your overall health but also for your spine. Excess weight can strain the spine, increasing pressure on the intervertebral discs and joints.

That can contribute to developing or worsening spinal conditions such as herniated discs or osteoarthritis. By following a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise, you can achieve a healthy weight and alleviate unnecessary stress on your spine.

Stick with a healthy diet

Incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, fish, and whole grains in your diet helps ensure your spine receives the nutrients it needs for good health.

Take breaks from prolonged sitting

Even with the best posture, prolonged sitting can lead to muscle imbalances and increased pressure on the spine. If you have a sedentary job or find yourself sitting for extended periods, it’s essential to take regular breaks.

Stand up, stretch, and walk around every 30-60 minutes to improve circulation in your spine and lower extremities.

Incorporate ergonomic principles into your workspace, such as using an adjustable chair, maintaining proper keyboard and mouse placement, and positioning your computer monitor at eye level.

Don’t ignore your aches and pains

It’s normal to have an achy back now and then after a strenuous day or new exercise routine. However, sharp, persistent, or worsening pain can signal a problem that needs medical attention.

Schedule a visit at Coastal Spine today for more tips on good posture and preventing or treating back pain. Call one of our six New Jersey locations or request an appointment online.