Did you know that back problems are the 2nd most common chronic health conditions affecting Australians?
According to a National Health Survey, 16% of the population – that's nearly 1 out of every 6 Australians suffered from chronic back problems.
It is also one of the leading causes of disability (28% of the total population with a disability).
As per the same study, in 2017-18, there were 181,000 hospitalisations in Australia due to back problems, and it's been showing an increasing trend.
With a little care and a few simple steps to strengthen your spine, we can help you avoid a lot of problems in the future.
We've all seen people slouching, either when they are walking, standing or sitting. In fact, most of us aren't even aware of how we stand or sit during our daily activities.
Bad posture is one of the many reasons why almost 80% of people end up suffering from back problems in their lifetime.
The good news is that it's possible to avoid back pain & surgery by following some basic back care practices.
These simple daily steps can also help facilitate recovery from some of the back-related existing maladies.
We at Paramount Health have helped hundreds of people lead a healthier pain-free life. We strongly believe that it's never too late to begin.
Think about it for a second. If a few tweaks in your lifestyle can help you lead a healthier and pain-free life, isn't it worth the effort?
Keep reading, and I will show you how you can strengthen your spine and avoid back problems by following a few simple, easy-to-follow steps.
But before I do that, it is essential that you understand why good posture is so important.
The Role of Good Posture in Strengthening your Spine
If you ask most people about what a good posture is, chances are, they will talk about standing or sitting straight.
But a good posture goes way beyond the stereotypical image of a soldier standing rigidly in attention.
The fact is, good posture has nothing to do with rigidity and stress.
When your posture is good, your body is correctly aligned, and there is no excessive pressure or strain on any part of your body.
Even though good posture should ideally come naturally, most of us tend to learn and adopt a wrong posture right from our childhood days.
But like I mentioned earlier, it's never too late to change. It's something we will need to practice – every single day.
Now, if you're wondering why it's such a big deal, and why you must make all that effort to change, let me explain.
Your spine is a very important segment of your central nervous system.
It is directly linked to the peripheral nervous system and forms the main pathway between your brain and the rest of your body.
If your spine is unhealthy, it can directly affect millions of nerves that form your central nervous system.
This can lead to a host of health problems such as:
- Numbness and pain
- Weakness in the legs & arms
- Poor digestion
- Impaired breathing
- Poor bladder and bowel control
A number of studies have connected slouching & stooping to health issues such as respiratory conditions, migraines, heartburn and even anxiety.
When you maintain a proper posture, you will find it easier to breathe deeply.
You will also experience higher energy levels and improved overall wellbeing.
To top it all off, you will appear taller as well!
Now that you know why you must improve your posture, let's look at the steps you can take today to improve your posture and make your spine stronger.
We will discuss 5 ways in which you can strengthen your spine.
5 Ways to Strengthen your Spine
1. Practice Belly Breathing for Good Posture
Did you know that you can improve your posture and your overall health simply by changing the way you breathe? All you have to do is practice deep belly breathing as many times as possible during the day.
Start by placing your hands on your abdomen. Inhale and exhale slowly. Repeat it a few times. Don't force yourself - stay relaxed during this exercise. Once you practice this a few times, you will notice that deep breathing slowly become a habit.
This kind of deep belly breathing allows your spinal nerves some movement. This reduces pain and will help you feel better.
2. Include Spine Strengthening Exercises in your Daily Workout
Research has shown that exercising has a therapeutic effect on your body and mind. All you need is 10 minutes every day to perform some very basic spine-strengthening exercises.
The exercises you can do are simple ear-to-shoulder stretches, up-and-down and side-to-side stretches, range-of-motion and bending exercises.
These exercises can significantly improve your cervical spine health. You can also do push-ups if you can. Push-ups can be really beneficial for postural and spinal muscles.
You should also consider incorporating a few simple yoga postures in your daily workout routine.
Yoga postures such as the Downward Dog are excellent for your spine.
3. Nutrition & Spine Health: Choose the best foods.
Most people aren't aware that their food choices can affect spine health.
Food plays a significant role, and you must include foods that have healthy fats in your diet.
Also, make sure that you eat lean proteins and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.
Healthy foods like these help build strong muscles that can provide proper support to the spine.
They can also help you stay lean and healthy.
4. The Role of Vitamin D in Strengthening your Spine
If you are someone who spends most of the time indoors, you need to change that for the sake of your health.
As per a number of scientific studies, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to degenerative spine diseases requiring spine surgery. So, start spending some time in the sun every single day to get more Vitamin D.
Natural sunlight energises your entire body and also encourages it to stand up straighter.
Exposing yourself to sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen bones, including your spinal column.
Spending 10-20 minutes in the sun is all that's required to get all these benefits.
So start stepping out more in the sun.
5. Get Quality Sleep
I am sure you know how important sleep is for your health. But the duration and quality of your sleep also matter a great deal. Insufficient sleep can increase the risk of back and neck problems.
It is crucial that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every single day.
Sleeping on your side can minimise the pressure on your spine. You can also improve the quality of your sleep by using the right kind of mattress and pillow. Another tip is to ensure your bedroom is properly ventilated and avoid excessive light in your bedroom - especially outdoor light streaming in when you are sleeping.
If you have problems falling asleep, you can also try calming exercises like meditation or simple deep relaxed breathing to reduce stress before you go to sleep. Calming music can also help.
Strengthening your Spine will Improve the Quality of Your Spine
Investing a few minutes every day to improve your posture and strengthen your spine will go a long way in reducing the risk of back problems.
Whether you are an office worker spending hours in front of your computer or a housewife taking care of your family, following the tips given in this article can help you become much more productive and improve your life's overall quality.
At Paramount health, we are committed to helping you lead a pain-free, healthy life.
Our Chiropractic services can help you resolve your back problems and improve your spine strength. We do this through careful assessment and treatment of your back, and then incorporate rehab exercises at the right time to res build your strength.
When you are ready to strengthen your spine schedule yourself in with our expert team, you will feel better for it.