10 Easy Ways You Can Improve Your Spine Health & Back Pain
Back pain experts are regularly asked, “what is the best way to improve my spine health and back pain?” While the answer is primarily dependent on individual needs and lifestyle, there are several things that you can do to help improve your spinal health, your overall comfort in your body, your mobility, and any back pain you may be experiencing. From your back pain relief experts in Spokane, WA, here are 10 tips that you can implement immediately to begin experiencing some back pain relief and improved spine health.
#1. Stretch daily
One of the most underrated practices for decreasing back pain and improving overall mobility is stretching. Stretching, while commonly understood to be a healthy activity, is often practiced incorrectly.
When stretching, be sure not to bounce into a stretch—this prevents the muscles from warming up correctly. When you reach your deepest stretch point, hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. As you practice stretching, you can increase the amount of time you hold the stretch. Holding a prolonged stretch helps to increase flexibility, build strength and resilience in the muscle, and improve balance.
Stretch positions that assist with back pain include knee-to-chest, bridges, cat and cow, and seated low back rotations.
#2. Practice muscle-building exercises
There are many different kinds of exercises, all with different benefits and purposes. While cardiovascular exercises are excellent for increasing endurance, improving heart-health, and becoming more lean, strength-building exercises are best for helping build muscle tone in various areas of the body.
If you’re experiencing back pain, there is a chance that the muscles in the area could benefit from strengthening. Back pain can often occur when muscles in the area are weakened, and are supporting more weight or strain than they should be.
To build muscles in your back, shoulders, and neck, which will help support your posture, practice deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, pulldowns, and push-ups.
#3. Modify your sleeping posture
You spend hours each day in a sleeping position—have you ever stopped to analyze what that position looks like?
Many people (particularly side-sleepers) sleep with their head and neck overly extended in a forward position. Over days, months, and years, this can not only misalign the neck, but it can cause discomfort and pain during the day.
Similarly, sleeping on a lumpy or unsupportive surface can create pain in the back, particularly if the hips, spine, and shoulders are not in alignment.
Examine your sleeping position to determine if it is facilitating optimal alignment in your spine, neck, shoulders, and hips, and modify it gradually until it is.
#4. Take movement breaks
Whether your primary occupation is active or sedentary, it’s important to take intentional breaks for movement. Even the most movement-based occupations don’t always include all of the movement that your body needs to remain limber and comfortable, and with sedentary occupations, the odds are even higher that your body will require a movement break.
Movement breaks can be short—just 1 to 2 minutes of concentrated movement every 30 to 60 minutes can be enough to completely revitalize your posture, circulation, and concentration.
When you take a break for movement, ensure that you are achieving full 360 degree rotation where possible. Rotate your arms, rotate your torso, and focus on both forward and backwards movements.
#5. Make your workspace ergonomic
Ergonomics refers to achieving efficiency through systems that support the body’s health. A truly efficient workspace allows a worker to be physically comfortable while performing their tasks, whether that involves sitting, standing, or moving.
If your job is active and requires you to move around, lift objects, or stand for prolonged periods of time, ensure that your back is supported, that you have an opportunity to take breaks, and that you are supplied with the proper equipment and protection to perform your duties (including clothing, accessories, and shoes).
If your job is sedentary, ensure that you have the opportunity to take breaks for movement, move your seat (and ideally, the height of your desk), keep your computer at the proper eye level, and that you have appropriate equipment to prevent repetitive movement injuries.
#6. Add back support to your couch
Many people spend several hours on their couch each week. Time spent on the couch adds up, and without the proper back support, this can lead to discomfort and weakness in the back muscles.
To ensure that your couch is supporting you properly, sit on it and observe the alignment of your neck and spine. If your head is pushed forward, or if your back is hunched and shoulders slouched, it is likely that your couch is not providing proper support. Try putting a pillow behind your low back to ensure that you can sit up straight and comfortably on the couch, with your feet flat on the floor. If you opt for another seating position, choose one that allows your neck to remain relatively in line with your spine and shoulders.
#7. Modify your driver’s seat (for commuters)
Many people spend hours in traffic each week. If you’re one of them, ensure that your driver’s seat supports your optimal posture.
Sitting in an ideal, upright position means that your head is squarely above your shoulders, your shoulders are aligned with your back, and your back is straight. If you are slouching in the driver’s seat, or your back is curved or begins to hurt, determine the area of your spine that is requiring support and place a pillow or a cushion in the area during your next commute.
#8. Use an orthotic Denneroll device
Orthotic Denneroll devices are prescribed by your expert chiropractor to ensure that you are getting the most out of your chiropractic care. A Denneroll device is a device made to help reshape the spine and improve your posture. These devices are take-home devices used for a specific period of time each day, and are intended to supplement your in-office visits, making them more effective and increasing the speed at which you see results.
Denneroll devices are easy to use and can help produce quantifiable, noticeable improvements in posture and reduction in pain. If you’re looking for neck pain relief in Spokane, WA, ask your neck and back pain chiropractor about Denneroll devices today.
#9. Find the right shoes
Contrary to popular belief, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to shoes for back pain. In fact, most shoe and foot products that promise relief from back pain are not lasting solutions, as they do not help to realign the spinal curvature at the source, where the pain originates.
Still, shoes can make a difference in the way you carry your body and your weight, so it’s important that you discover which shoes work the best for your body and postural needs. Experiment with both “high” and “low” support soles, as well as various shoes for different activities. Just as you wouldn’t wear the same shoes hiking that you would wear to the office, each shoe is made for a specific purpose and function. If you’re experiencing back pain, steer clear of shoes that are made exclusively for aesthetic purposes, and look for high-quality shoes that are intended to be worn and walked in.
#10. Seek chiropractic care
If you’re experiencing back pain or are simply looking to increase your spinal health, seek chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can help to vastly improve the health of the spine by increasing circulation, detoxifying the joints, releasing strain from nearby muscles, and realigning the bones.
Oftentimes, pain in the back is caused by misalignment (called “subluxations” in the joints). When a joint becomes misaligned, it can interfere with the function of nearby nerves and muscles, causing discomfort and immobility. If you’re looking for back pain relief in Spokane, WA, or have recently asked “is there a corrective chiropractor near me?” then you’ve come to the right place—Back in Motion Chiropractic of Spokane, WA is prepared to help provide the relief that you are looking for.
Experts in both corrective chiropractic and back pain relief, Back In Motion Chiropractic can help you restore your mobility and achieve pain relief with a customized treatment plan designed specifically for you.
As one of only a handful of chiropractors in the Spokane area offering Chiropractic BioPhysics®, the experts at Back In Motion Chiropractic can help to resolve misalignment and scoliosis at the root, creating long-term changes in the bones and structure of the spine. If you’re ready to experience the most advanced chiropractic care available, make your appointment today.