According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Not only can poor spine health leave you feeling uncomfortable, but it could also make working out more difficult.
To ensure your back is as healthy as possible, please keep the following advice in mind.
Exercises for Good Spine Health
For good spine health, you must condition your core-the muscles of your abdomen and lower back.
As such, you should add the following exercises to your routine:
- Goblet squat
- Partial crunch
- Side plank
- Barbell deadlift
- Dumbbell row
Princeton University’s Athletic Medicine Department also claims that a lack of flexibility in the hips can lead to low back pain.
For this reason, they recommend doing the following stretches on a regular basis:
- Quadriceps stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Adductor stretch
Eating for Good Spine Health
You may not think that what you eat can affect your spine. However, if you are significantly overweight, this causes your spine to work harder to keep your body upright.
As such, eating lots of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables is recommended in order to keep your weight within the normal range.
You should also drink plenty of water, as becoming dehydrated could result in back pain.
The discs between your vertebrae are largely made of water, and can shrink if they become dried out, placing more pressure on the nerves in your spine.
The Effects of Supplements
There are some cases when eating a healthy diet may not be enough.
If you consume a healthy diet, yet are still experiencing back pain, you may need one of the following supplements:
- A multi-vitamin containing Omega-3 fatty acids
Getting more sunlight or taking a Vitamin D supplement could also be needed.
A study published in Pain Physician reported that spinal stenosis patients who were Vitamin D deficient often suffered from severe pain.
Importance of Good Posture
According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) review, poor posture is a risk factor in the development of musculoskeletal disorders in general.
Poor posture can not only increase your risk of back pain, but it can also negate any training advances you make in the gym.
Exercises that strengthen your core will also help you improve your posture, as will:
- Wearing shoes with the proper amount of support. Women in particular should avoid wearing high heels as often as possible.
- Making a conscious effort to stand, sit, and walk upright.
- Taking regular breaks when sitting. Get up, walk around, or perform a few stretching exercises.
- Using a mirror to check your posture.
- Keeping your back straight and lifting with your legs when picking up heavy objects.
- Sleeping on your back rather than on your stomach or side.
Good spine health is something many people take for granted until after they begin experiencing back pain.
Don’t let this be you – keep these tips in mind to ensure your back remains as healthy as possible.