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 inter-vertebral 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, spending more time in nature or doing light physical activities, disconnecting from our obsession with electronic devices and social media and spending 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 healing.
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.