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Spring into Better Spinal Health

Spring into Better Spinal Health

Building Better Spinal Health Habits

With the springtime upon us, you may find yourself catching up on items on your to-do list that you've been pushing off—including addressing your spinal health. The spinal health experts at Inspired Spine are here to share some tips to give your back a healthful boost this spring!

Get Up & Stretch

While it’s perfectly fine to relax every now and then, spending too much time sitting or lying down can lead to spinal discomfort. This is because prolonged periods of inactivity cause your supportive muscles to weaken over time, leading to additional pressure being placed on your spine.

If you spend a majority of your day sitting at a desk or in the car, be sure to take a stretch break once every hour to give you neck and back some relief.

Pamper Yourself With a Massage

Although getting massages is a great way to support your mental and emotional health, they also help to support your spinal health too! Getting a massage helps to release muscle tension in your neck, shoulders, and back. This muscle relaxation can also help to combat pain-causing inflammation and prevents muscle spasms from happening.

Lighten Your Load

When carrying a purse or bookbag, it’s important to be mindful of just how much weight you're carrying. This is because overloading your bag can lead to an unnatural curvature of your shoulder and upper back, causing spinal health issues affecting your neck and back.

As a rule of thumb, make sure your bag’s weight does not exceed 10% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, your bag should not weigh more than 15 lbs.

Use a Supportive pillow at Night

Unfortunately, many people are familiar with the pain of waking up with a stiff neck. Fortunately, this uncomfortable issue is completely preventable when using the right combination of better sleep practices.

Follow these tips to provide your head and neck with additional support while you sleep:

  • Sleep on your side or back.
  • Opt for a down or feather pillow that can mold to the contours of your head and neck.
  • Use a traditionally-shaped memory foam pillow.
  • Try to keep your spine straight while you sleep.
  • Avoid overly stiff pillows.

Work on Your Posture

Many of us are guilty of slouching from time to time. However, allowing your shoulders to round and your back to hunch over can lead to spinal health issues if they become a persistent bad habit.

Your spine’s natural alignment allows your body to evenly distribute your weight. When you allow yourself to slouch, your spine becomes misaligned and puts additional strain on your back’s supportive muscles. Eventually, this can lead to muscle stiffness and weakness, resulting in additional pressure being placed on the spine itself.

To practice better posture, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stand up straight, lengthening your spine.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back.
  • Try to keep your weight toward the balls of your feet.
  • Let your arms fall naturally to your side.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.

Strengthen Your Supportive Muscles

Another excellent way to ward off aches and pains that may affect your neck and back is to strengthen your spine’s supportive muscles. By targeting your abdominal muscles, your obliques, and your erector spinae, you can help to prevent and even alleviate existing back pain.

Try adding some of these exercises and stretches to your fitness routine to support your spinal health:

  • Supine pelvic tilts
  • Bridges
  • Alternating superman
  • Knee-to-chest
  • Lying lateral leg lifts
  • Cat-cow
  • Quadruped dumbbell rows
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Deadlifts
  • Pullups
  • Planks

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in Minnesota

When it comes to aches and pains, discomfort that affects your back can be more than just an annoyance—it can negatively affect your quality of life and your independence. At Inspired Spine, our experienced and knowledgeable spinal surgeons are dedicated to relieving your chronic back pain with the least invasive treatment possible.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our spine surgeons, call (952) 225-5266 today.