7. Exercise your core muscles
Patients suffering from spine problems are encouraged to participate on physical activities that increase heart
rate an average of 3 days per week for good overall body and mind health. Exercising the core muscles
particularly will help to prevent pain, strains, and injuries to the spine. Your core muscles are the lower back
and abdominal muscles that surround your mid-section. These muscles need to stay strong and flexible. They
support your spine and take pressure off your lower back. Low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking,
bicycling, swimming and yoga can help increase blood flow to the spine, which supplies healing nutrients to
the structures in your lower back. You should also consider adding a daily 10 minute stretching routine that
focuses on bending forward, bending back and bending sideways to work around the entire set of core
muscles. Never start a new exercising program without consulting a doctor or physical therapist. They can
show you a few safe stretches you can do at home on your next visit.
8. Eat a balance diet
Eating a balanced diet aids in providing you with the necessary nutrients to support a healthy bone structure,
staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight/BMI. You should consume foods with anti-inflammatory
properties and with the right combination of vitamins to keep your bones strong. Making an effort of drinking
an average of 8 glasses of water daily will ensure hydration. Avoid having extra weight around your belly
because it places unnecessary pressure on your lumbar spine. Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and potassium are
especially beneficial to your spine because they are an essential part of the bone repair and building process.
Here is a list of foods proven to increase bone density: broccoli, spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage, brussel
sprouts, squash, cucumbers, watercress, okra, scallions, basil, parsley, avocado, bananas, oranges, grapefruit,
prunes, figs, beans, legumes, almonds, oats, salmon, mackerel, tuna, eggs, coconut water, low-fat yogurt, low-
fat cheese, low-fat milk (including milks that are plant based such as almond and soy).
9. Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine
To live a healthier life doctors recommend avoiding or at least decreasing your nicotine, alcohol and caffeine
intake. These substances change the chemical configuration of your body. Nicotine affects the intervertebral
disks making them susceptible to rapid dehydration thus making the spine brittle and vulnerable to tearing.
Being under the effects of alcohol can affect your balance leaving you prone to falls and other kind of injuries.
Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulant which is a combination that has terrible effects to the spine. A toxic body
has to work harder to cleanse itself and misuses resources that could be used for healing and repairing.
10. Decrease stress
Encountering moderate to high stress on a daily basis can worsen your back problems. Depression can also
play a significant role in back pain. Patients with back issues are encouraged to seek help thru counseling,
various relaxation methods, reconnecting with family and friends, spend more time in nature or doing light
physical activities, disconnecting from our obsession with electronical devices and social media and pending a
few minutes per day meditating. All of these things will not only help with your back problems but also
improve your life. Make your body and mind happy. Get a massage. It will help increase endorphins our body's
natural painkiller and increase blood flow, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the affected areas to speed
11. Do not self-medicate after an injury
It is dangerous to treat strains and sprains of your back and neck with pain or anti-inflammatory medications.
Instead, you should apply ice as soon as possible for short of periods of time for at least a few days, rest the
affected body part by avoiding movement, and apply heat once the inflammation has decreased to improve
flexibility and stiffness. Take into consideration that inflammation can last days and even weeks to end.
Consult your medical professional if your pain is recurring or persists more than two weeks.
12. Consult your general doctor or physical therapist
Discussing your back health with your doctor or physical therapist is the best way to avoid injuries or prevent
diseases. They will guide you with helpful tips such as the 12 you see above. Further, the doctor will guide you
in regards to which medications are best for controlling pain and inflammation in the event of an injury.
Getting a prescription from your doctor to visit a physical therapist will be of benefit. Their approach is to help
restore a more normal motion and position of affected spinal bones with specific mobilization movements by
customizing a program to your particular needs. Here at Broward Manual Rehab, we have developed
extensive programs that serve everyone. Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have questions or wish
to make an appointment.