Our necks and spines are amazing. They enable us to stay upright, walk, and complete an enormous amount of things every single day.
They deserve our daily attention, and yet, so many of us ignore our spine and neck health, even as we’re dealing with back and neck pain.
Whether you’re struggling with range of motion or you simply want to make sure that you’re flexible for many years to come, it pays to follow these five tips to keep your neck and back in good health.
Address Any Injuries Right Away
It’s easy to ignore problems when they come up in the hopes that the pain you’re experiencing will go away on its own. Although that may be a possibility, it’s much better to address any injuries or pain right away.
For example, if you have been injured in an accident, you should visit the doctor right away, even if you aren’t experiencing a lot of pain. If paying is an issue, make sure you schedule an appointment with a personal injury attorney who can recover the funds needed for your medical care. It’s better to have a checkup to make sure everything is okay than it is to find out you’ve been dealing with pain that could have been eliminated.
Most minor injuries deserve your attention too. If you injured yourself playing a sport, if you just bent over wrong, or you always seem to have a crick in your neck, visit a doctor, schedule an appointment with a chiropractor, and follow the rest of the tips on this list.
Lift the Right Way
All of us lift a variety of objects every day. Some of us lift heavy boxes as part of our job, while others lift small children throughout the day. No matter what it is you’re lifting, it’s important to lift it the right way to eliminate neck strain and damage to your back.
When lifting objects off the floor, you should always bend with your knees and not with your back. Then, use the power in your legs to lift the object instead of relying on your spine.
If squatting is difficult, you can also use a technique where you kick out one leg instead of relying on your knees.
Pay Attention to How You Sleep
How you sleep is important too. Sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Sleep on your back or your side instead.
You also have to think about other aspects of your sleep. A few tips for a healthy neck and spine include:
- Choose a firm or a medium-firm mattress that supports your spine.
- Use a pillow that keeps your neck aligned in your preferred sleeping position.
- Use a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back, or between your knees if you sleep on your side.
Stretching can have a profound effect on your neck and your spine. It can help you maintain flexibility, even as you age, and regular stretching can prevent aches and pains, as well as get rid of existing aches and pains.
Neck stretches can be especially helpful. They include doing things like tilting your head front to back and side to side, as well as shoulder rolls.
There are many spine-specific exercises you can try, but it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Just moving your body is usually enough to stretch out your spine. Go to the gym, go for a walk, or dance to your favorite song. Any kind of movement is a great way to stretch out your spine!
Rethink Your Work Space
Standing on your feet all day can be bad for your spine and your neck, but so can sitting for long periods of time. If you work in an office setting and find yourself sitting at a desk for hours at a time, you need to rethink your workspace.
Office ergonomics tips include:
- Adjust your work station so your computer screen is directly in front of your eyes.
- Get a chair that offers lower back support, and make sure you sit all the way back in the seat.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your work surface is “elbow high”.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor with your thighs parallel to the ground.
Treat your neck and spine with the care they deserve. Follow these tips and you can keep two of your most important assets in good health.