10 Tips for a Healthy Back from a Chiropractor
Trying to find the best tips for a healthy back? There’s a ton of simple changes you can make in your daily life to promote a healthy back… because no one wants debilitating back pain creeping into their lives!
Pain in any area of your back can make you miserable. If you’re currently experiencing back pain, you’re not alone either. The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) has publicly stated that there’s currently a “low back pain epidemic” in Canada.
Statistics show that approximately 85 percent of working people can expect to have low back pain at some point in their lives. This is a massive number and as a result, Canadians are expected to pay between 6 to 12 billion dollars annually on medical costs related to low back pain.
So, what exactly can you do to maintain your back health? Here are some friendly tips for a healthy back… from an experienced Chiropractor in Calgary, Alberta!
#1 – Be mindful of your posture
Standing up straight and sitting tall with your shoulders back and head aligned with the spine can work wonders when it comes to a healthy back.
Surely we’ve all heard it from our mothers before while growing up saying “stand up straight and hold your head high!” Turns out mom really knew what she was talking about after all!
Posture can account for a lot of these tips for a healthy back discussed below, which is why it’s our number one!
#2 – Perform stretches at home / work
There are simple exercises you can do at home or work which will help to keep your back flexible and mobile. If you have access to a gym, even better!
Here are six stretches that Dr. Keith, Chiropractor at Revelation Health Centre in Calgary, has demonstrated for you via easy-to-follow YouTube videos:
#3 – Lift and exercise accordingly
Maintaining your health by working out – lilting weights, cardio, HIIT, playing sports, cross fit, etc. – can help to maintain strong joints and have you keep a proper weight. Both are instrumental in a healthy back and spine.
Make sure to lift weights with proper technique by keeping the weight close to your body and using your legs to do most of the work. Keep your legs about shoulder width apart and do not twist or turn your torso while maintaining a straight spine.
#4 – Reduce time spent on your smart phone
Smart phones are a killer when it comes to back health. Today, many people are on smart phones for a wide range of reasons such as work, social media or following GPS directions.
Making a focused effort to reduce how much you use your phone to browse social media, for example, means less time hunched over and looking down.
If you do have to use your phone a lot, try maintaining good posture with a straight spine and neck to promote a healthy back for yourself. Your back will thank you later!
#5 – Stay hydrated by drinking more water
Did you know that the vertebral discs in your spine are made up of approximately 88 percent water? Dehydration over extended periods of time can ultimately lead to degeneration of the discs, resulting in a bulged / herniated / slipped disc which can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition!
Prevent yourself from getting a herniated disc all together and drink water when your thirsty. You can take it a step further even and commit to drinking 8 cups a day, which equals two litres, or about half a gallon.
#6 – Eat healthy and consider supplementation
Being selective of what and what not to eat can help you fight back pain and maintain a healthy back.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, grapes, carrots and cherries to name a few can go leaps and bounds in helping reduce back pain. Also, spices like turmeric, ginger, rosemary, garlic and oregano are rich in anti-inflammatory agents so don’t be shy when seasoning your food.
There’s a ton of different foods that can help fight inflammation and back pain. We recommend you do more thorough research into what those foods are! Also, it’s very important you get enough minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc on a daily basis to maintain spinal health.
Chiropractors, naturopaths and retail stores all have various supplements available for purchase.. These minerals and several others + vitamins are crucial for a healthy back! Learn more here:
#7 – Move your body often
Get out and do some stretching, have a moderately intense workout or perhaps take the dog down to the river for a leisurely stroll. By doing so, you’re probably spending less time sitting down at a desk or in a car seat which can put you at higher risk of developing back pain.
Sitting down for longer periods of time can shorten your hip flexors and result in your neck, spine and shoulders hunching forward into an unnatural position. Your hamstrings and glutes can also tighten, pulling on your pelvis. Combine all these factors and you might get a nasty case of back pain. Go for a healthy back and be active!
#8 – Get a good sleep & do it right
Sleep isn’t just important for your overall health, but it also plays an essential role in a healthy back. Try to get 6 to 8 hours a night while also sleeping in a position that gives your spine optimal support.
If you like to sleep on your side, consider putting a pillow underneath your mid-section to keep your spine straight. If you’re a back sleeper, putting a pillow under your knees can help to reduce pressure on your spine.
#9 – Drive your vehicle in good form
Many of us are in a motor vehicle for a good part of our day. Because it’s such a common activity, we’ve made a separate point with some simple tips when driving:
- Try to keep your back upright, shoulders back and chin tucked in slightly
- Take breaks during longer trips; stand up and stretch your legs / arms / back
- Don’t sit on your wallet; it can shift your weight and alignment, causing back problems
- Use built-in lumbar support – many car seats support the natural curvature of your spine
- Avoid twisting around to reach for things in your dash or behind the seats in the back
If you follow these simple tips for a healthy back while driving, you shouldn’t have any problems with back pain as a result
#10 – Quit smoking
People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience low back pain and have an 80 percent higher chance of developing degenerative disc disease when compared to non-smokers.
Nicotine restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion the vertebrae, not to mention cigarettes contain a ton of toxins that are just straight up unhealthy.