It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class! It’s that time of year again – for many of us, a new year means it’s time to reflect on the past while making plans for a better future. Resolutions are a great way to put new focus on improving ourselves in a variety of ways. You may not always think about it, but your spine plays an enormous part in your overall health and wellbeing. We’ve got a few suggestions to add to your resolutions list related to keeping your spine in optimal condition. Read on for our thoughts on better chiropractic health in 2013!
- Sleep on your side. A lot of people sleep on their stomach, but you may not realize that this puts irregular pressure on your spine. Sleep on your side instead. And while we’re talking about sleep, if you can, invest in a supportive pillow and mattress.
- Improve your posture. Your spine has three curves – the cervical, thoracic and lumbar. These help balance weight distribution and minimize any negative impacts on your spine. Continue to take good care of your spine by actively thinking and working on your posture – it takes good care of you, after all.
- Stretch often. Tight muscles lead to body imbalances, which leads to pain. Full range of motion stretches helps eliminate stiffness and encourages healthy joints.
- Exercise regularly. We all know we’re supposed to exercise often – it has plenty of physical and mental benefits. But did you know it also keeps your spine healthy too? Putting your body through various ranges of motion during athletic activities helps reduce join fixations, which can lead to pain.
- Hydrate. We can’t say enough about staying well hydrated. Your body is well over 50% water and needs a regular supply for your blood, muscles, skin … and intervertebral discs. Those discs absorb a lot of water, as they can shrink over time if they don’t get enough.
- Keep bones aligned. Maintaining optimal spinal alignment in essential when fighting the good fight again chronic back pain. When a joint is misaligned, that area of the body goes on “lock down” to prevent further injuries. Routine spinal check-ups help with proper alignment and joint function so your muscles can ease up.