Spine and Back Advice: Movement, Posture, Sleep, and Exercises

Spine Advices

A lot of people experience back pain every day. Living with the pain can make life harder than necessary, back pain can cause you to miss out on things and activities that you may enjoy and prevent you from accomplishing simple day to day tasks.
Quick fact: According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), spinal problems are the leading cause of job-related disability.
Looking at this fact and just by imagining what kind of life spinal problems will bring, we can conclude that we need to take care of our spine, more specifically, our back and neck. This will help lower your chances of getting back pain.

Spine and back advice #1: Get moving

The more you move, the healthier you will be. To prevent injuries to your back and the pain that accompanies them, great spine and back advice is to maintain a healthy weight and try to get regular exercise. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

There are a lot of exercises out there which can help strengthen our backs as well as the muscles and tissues surrounding it.

Spine and back advice #2: Stop smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes changes the chemical make-up of your spinal cushions, the intervertebral discs. This makes them dry out or dehydrate faster and become brittle and more likely to be injured or tear. Ask your doctor for advice on quitting smoking.

There are 4 ways smoking can be damaging to your spine:

  1. Smoking can decrease bone density. Having low bone density can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them prone to fractures.
  2. Blood flow reduces when smoking. Impaired blood flow robs your tissues of their much-needed nutrients and oxygen. Smoking causes damage to the lungs. We already know that keeping an active lifestyle is important. Physical activity decreases because of deoxygenated blood which reduces mobility and has a negative impact on the spine.
  3. Smoking causes damage to the lungs. Smoking causes damage to the lungs. We already know that keeping an active lifestyle is important. Physical activity decreases because of deoxygenated blood which reduces mobility and has a negative impact on the spine.
  4. Smoking slows down healing and recovery. Smokers are at greater risk of getting infections during recovery. It's been observed that smokers take a longer time to heal and recover than those who don't smoke.

Spine and back advice #3: Practice your posture 

If you work at a computer for long periods, make sure your monitor is at eye level. Try to keep your legs at a 90-degree level and your feet slightly tilted upward. Make sure your chair supports your lower back.

Spine and back advice #4: Take regular breaks 

Frequent breaks are important if you're required to sit for long periods. Get up and move away from your desk at least every hour; even if it's only for a minute or two. This sounds like such simple spine and back advice, but you'll be surprised at how much it can help relieve the pain and pressure in your spinal column.

Spine and back advice #5: Hold the phone

Be aware of your neck position when you're talking on the phone. Don't cradle the phone with your neck, as this puts stress and strain on your spine.  If you need to talk and type, excellent spine and back advice is to invest in a headset.

Spine and back advice #6: Work your core 

Your abdominal as well as your lower back muscles support your spine and ensure your total "core" health. Practice extension and flexion to build core strength.

Spine and back advice #7: Sleep well

Avoid sleeping on your belly as this position exaggerates the curve in your lumbar back (lordosis). Instead, try sleeping on your side with a small pillow between your knees. This takes pressure off your spinal column. If you sleep on your back, tuck a small pillow under your knees to help support your spine.  Don't stay in one position too long.

Spine and back advice #8: Don't ignore the pain

If back pain starts, stop. Stop what you're doing and rest your back. Don't try to exercise through pain. If you have pain or weakness in your legs, notify your physician. If you lose control of your bladder or bowels, seek medical attention immediately.

Spine and back advice #9: Helpful healing

When your back is painful, you don't feel like moving but light exercise is helpful in bringing healing to the site of the injury. Try walking or swimming. This is helpful spine and back advice because these activities will increase the flow of blood without risking further damage to the spinal discs.

Spine and back advice #10: Avoid Certain Exercises

Some forms of exercise should be avoided while your back is recovering from an injury. In general, back and spine advice for everyone with a sore back includes avoiding lifting weight over their head, weight-assisted lunges and running and jogging. Ask your doctor what forms of cardio are safe for you.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers