Your spine is an essential part of your musculoskeletal system, so it only makes sense that you protect it at all costs. The earlier you start focusing on your spine health, the lower your risk will be for chronic back pain, neck pain, and other complications.
At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, expert spine surgeon Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS provides a variety of services, including minimally invasive surgery, to address problems of the spine.
Dr. Bo also values the importance of preventive care and can recommend strategies that improve your spine health in the long-term.
Your spine contains 33 vertebrae that connect together to provide stability for the rest of your body. In between the vertebrae are discs that cushion the bones and absorb the shock of your movements. Many ligaments and muscles also work together to support your spine and give it flexibility.
To protect all of these structures, Dr. Bo offers these suggestions:
There are several exercises that you can learn to keep the soft tissues of your back healthy, flexible, and strong. Engaging in a few simple exercises every day can lower your risk for soft tissue injuries and improve blood circulation throughout your spine.
If you're limited by existing pain or a medical condition, consider signing up for a water therapy class. Being in a pool can take pressure off your spine and make it easier for you to do stretches and other exercises.
When you carry around excess weight, it puts unnecessary pressure on your spine, knees, hips, and other joints. This can increase your risk for developing degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis in your spine and throughout your body.
Maintaining a healthy weight also offers many other long-term health benefits and makes it easier for you to stay physically active. If you can’t lose weight on your own, ask Dr. Bo for diet and exercise recommendations that help you reach your weight loss goals.
Eating a healthy diet is not only good for weight maintenance, but the right foods can also reduce inflammation in your body that contributes to spine pain.
Foods like refined sugars, red meat, and many processed foods can trigger inflammation. Try to follow a diet that’s filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to keep inflammation at bay. Also be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
A sedentary lifestyle can affect your posture and the alignment of your spine. If you must sit for work or other reasons, try and get up at least once an hour to walk around.
When possible, spend some time standing and be mindful of your posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and your spine straight to prevent unnecessary strain on your spine.
To learn more ways you can protect your spine health, schedule a consultation at the Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care online or call the office near you today.