Three Simple Steps To A Healthy Back

In my decades of experience treating patients, very few have given much thought to what it takes to have a healthy back. In fact, most do not take very good care of their back. Years of poor work position, poor posture, lack of exercise and stretching can lead you on a path from a healthy back to one that hurts, is stiff and leads to early degeneration.

To help prevent early pain and maintain your healthy back, add these three simple steps to your daily lifestyle.

Number One: Exercise or stretch

Walking is one great exercise for your back. A regular walk can help to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Additionally as you walk it increases your flexibility, helps with bone density and it increases blood flow bringing nutrients to the muscles and ligaments.

Along with walking, stretching is a great treat for your back. Simple, basic stretches done on a daily basis will work wonders over time. You can expect less pain, more flexibility and much easier motion, all leading to a healthy back.

Number Two: Eat Right

What we eat, not only satisfies our hunger and cravings, but it is the foundation of our overall health.

Eating for a healthy back means providing your body with the right type of foods. It is best if you eliminate or drastically reduced processed food as well as sugar filled drinks. To provide the best nutrition for a health back, eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Limit the amount of meat.

As well as helping your back, eating right will help to regulate your weight, which in turn can reduce pressure on the spine.

Number Three: Limit your texting or video watching on your phone

In our age of electronics, we spend too much time looking down at our devices and phones. Unfortunately, this simple action done on a frequent basis will add tremendous stress to your neck and spine.

The bones and muscles of your neck are designed to hold your head in an upright position, balanced over your mid back. Continuing to look down at your phone causes the muscles and ligaments of your neck to shift and ultimately causes your head to shift into a forward position.

When your head is in front of your upper back it is called Forward Head Syndrome and has significant effect on your back. For every inch your head is forward of your upper back it doubles the weight of your head on the neck. So, the average head weighs 10-12 pounds; if your head is 1 inch forward, that means up to 22 pounds of force on your lower neck. If it s 2 inches forward, it could be 44 pounds! Put this in perspective, a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. This means you could be carrying 4.5 gallons of water around your neck! Imagine the stress and pain with that!

These three simple steps can help you keep a healthy back! Unfortunately, should you develop back pain that does not go away, we can help. Since graduating in 1984, Dr. Schmaltz has helped countless people get relief from back pain. Call the office today at (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT