The health of our spines is rarely something we specifically think about, despite how important it is to our overall well being. But keeping your spine healthy is essential to staying free from morbidity and chronic disease. Unfortunately, all too many people suffer from back and neck problems. So how can you keep your spine healthy?
Focus On Ergonomics While Sitting
Being in a sitting position for extended periods of time can take its toll on your spine. The crushing and shearing forces placed on the bone and cartilage can cause it to change shape over the years, resulting in problems as you get older.
Fortunately, there are many solutions. First, try using a V shaped pillow while sitting. Not only can you pair them with a number of stylish V shape pillow cases, but they also help to support your neck, preventing excessive strain in the vertebrae. They’re perfect for whenever you have to sit for long periods, like on a flight or in the office.
Second, find a chair that provides adequate support. One of the reasons people get severe back pain is that their chair forces them to sit in an uncomfortable position. Ideally, your chair should keep your back relatively straight and prevent you from hunching over.
Third, try to get up every 30 minutes or so and move around. The human body evolved to be constantly on the move looking for food, and so it simply isn’t able to cope with long periods of sitting. After about an hour of sitting, the blood vessels in your legs begin to stiffen by themselves which can lead to cardiovascular problems in the future. Moving regularly helps them to relax again, keeping them flexible and helping your blood pressure remain low.
Eat A Better Diet
One of the reasons so many people have pain in their spines is because nutrients cannot get to the tissue in the spine. The discs between your vertebrae are the largest structures in the body not served by the capillaries. For nutrients to get into the cartilage cells, they need to slowly osmose through the tissue which can take a long time. Scientists now believe that one of the reasons back pain is on the rise is because it is becoming harder for nutrients to get to where they need to be.
Why is this? They think it is because the small capillaries that surround the vertebrae are getting blocked up with plaques, meaning that nutrients have to travel further to get to the right destination. This then leads to back pain.
The solution is to eat a diet which can clear the arteries out, one with fruits and vegetables and low saturated fat.
Rest Comfortably At Night
When you lay down on your bed, your muscles finally get a chance to relax. Or do they? Sleeping in the wrong position can actually put extra strain on your spine, causing further pain the next day. Choose a mattress and a pillow that offers adequate support.