Spine Health 101

Proper spine health is a vital part of your overall health. When your bones are not strong or you have a misalignment in your spine, you can experience not only back or neck pain but it can cause problems with your immune system and affect your whole body’s ability to heal itself. Your spine is the backbone of your body―literally and figuratively!

Your Spine
Everyone has seen a skeleton with a spine connecting the skull to the hip area. Did you know that it consists of 33 vertebrae? Your vertebrae are stacked and held together by discs that are filled with a gel nucleus. The discs are what give your spine flexibility.

The spinal cord begins at the skull and extends through each vertebra called the central canal. Openings in the vertebrae allow nerves to travel from the spinal cord which gives the ability for the brain and muscles to communicate.

When your spine is healthy, it works like a well-oiled machine that allows you to do all of the activities your body was designed to do. When your spine is not healthy, you can suffer from herniated discs, loss of range of motion, subluxations, and a weakened immune system that can threaten your whole body’s health.

Your Spine’s Health

The health of your spine relies on three things: posture, lifting, and diet.

Your mom was right. It’s important to stand up straight. Bad posture can lead to back pain, subluxations, and pinched nerves. Good posture keeps everything aligned as it should be.

When you sit:
Keep your feet on the floor
Don’t cross your legs
Use a lower back support
Avoid sitting in the same position for a long time
When you stand:
Keep your weight on the balls of your heels
Slightly bend your knees
Tuck in your stomach
Let your arms hang to your sides
Keep your feet shoulder width apart

When you’re lying down:
Replace your old lumpy mattress with one that is firm and comfortable
Use a pillow when you sleep
Don’t sleep on your stomach
If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees
If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees

Serious injuries can happen when you put a lot of pressure on your back lifting a heavy object and then you twist. In fact, improper lifting techniques are a major cause of back injury.
When you lift:
Wear a back support brace
Keep your head up, back straight, and lift with your knees
Don’t lift objects that are too heavy for you

A poor diet can leave your spine deficient in the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong. Make sure you incorporate foods rich in these nutrients to optimize your spine health.
Calcium―helps maintain bone mass and is found in dairy, kale, legumes, sardines, salmon (canned with bones).
Magnesium―if magnesium is low throughout your body, your body will take it out of your bones. Magnesium-rich foods include green, leafy vegetables, fish, beans, whole grains, avocadoes, nuts yogurt, and bananas.
Vitamin D3―Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Even if you get lots of calcium, your body won’t absorb it well if you are deficient in Vitamin D. It can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, liver, egg yolks, and items such as cereal, juices, and breads that say they are fortified with Vitamin D. It is also found in sunshine, so get outside on a sunny day!

At North County Pain Relief, we take a holistic approach to your care. Through spinal adjustments, we treat your pain without the need for harsh drugs or invasive surgery. By getting your spine back into proper alignment, your body is better able to heal itself.

If you’d like to know how chiropractic care can help you, call (314)731-4201 today to schedule an appointment. Better health awaits!