Healthy back, healthy body

"For many problems, look to the spine." This quote, attributed to Hippocrates, who is known as the father of medicine and the namesake of the Hippocratic oath that all doctors take, states something that many doctors know: take care of your spine or your whole body will pay. Poor spine health can cause many different conditions, from joint and muscle pain to fatigue and headaches, yet many people do little to take care of their spines. If you want to improve your general health, it is important to avoid common mistakes that lead to 8 out of 10 people being affected by back pain and other related conditions at some point in their lifetime, according to National Institutes of Health.

Proper body mechanics and posture helps keep your back muscles in good shape, but in our current world, we do a lot to throw off the natural good form we developed in our ancient world. To improve your everyday body mechanics, make sure you stretch before any exercise or strenuous activity, push objects across the floor instead of lifting them and always lifting with your legs and knees and not your back. Lifting objects isn't the only danger in our daily lives that can possibly harm our backs. Any sudden movements and twisting while carrying objects of even moderate weight can harm the back.

An incredibly harmful and common habit that many of us have is the way we sit at our desks. For optimum spinal health, adjust your desk chair to the right height for you and sit with your feet on the ground and your back straight. When walking, try to keep your balance evenly distributed on both feet and stand straight. Shoes are also important. If they don't provide the proper support, they can easily throw you off balance and place uneven pressure on your spine.

Besides improving posture and body mechanics, not smoking will make sure your spine stays healthy because smoking restricts blood flow to important spinal tissues, which deprives them of necessary oxygen and nutrients that help your body heal. Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular and core strengthening, also  keeps your back healthy. Exercise should also help reduce any excess weight that you carry, which can increase pain and cause herniated discs. If you are experiencing any back problems, these changes might not be enough. Head to the experts at Spinal Doc for quality care.

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