As you get older, the normal wear-and-tear your body repairs on a regular basis becomes a little slower to bounce back. You start to feel it in the minor aches and pains in your joints and muscles. Beyond just the aging process, back and spine pain can start to develop from physical stress, repetition, or even just prolonged poor posture. This kind of pain can be the result of a herniated disc, where a disc in your vertebra can be damaged and exert pressure on your spinal nerve. This condition can be extremely painful, but preventative measures can be taken, and the sooner the better. The stronger and healthier spine and back are more equipped to handle physical labor, and posture correcting is only simple behavior changes.
The very basics of spine strengthening and care come from posture correction. Identifying your posture problems can be difficult but rewarding for future spine strength exercises. Knowing what your bad habits are can help you target them with corrective habits and stretches. Whether you’re a commuter, desk worker, or both, you can start by avoiding slouching at work. Keeping your chin up and shoulders back while in the car or at your desk can start strengthening your vertebra in preparation for physical activity. If necessary, straighten the back of your car seat or heighten your computer desk’s monitor to better fit your new posture. Get a standing desk and alternate between the standing and sitting position throughout your day, favoring standing more often. This will force your back to maintain a straightened position. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and resist the urge to slouch over your desk, or it will defeat the purpose.
For better spine-strengthening habits, you’ll have to dedicate some time to exercising and performing stretches. Plenty of minor stretches can be done in the comfort of your own home in the morning before you work or in the evening after. A quick routine like this only takes fifteen minutes to half an hour, and if done consistently can help strengthen your spine and other back muscles over the course of several weeks. Pick low-impact stretches so as not to irritate any underused muscle groups, but also lower risk of back pain. Always keep your comfort in mind, and if you start experiencing back pain while exercising or performing stretches, consider getting professional input.
If you’ve got more time to invest into your spine health than a few afternoon stretches, consider signing up for a yoga class. Yoga is an effective way to stay fit, expand your flexibility and mobility, and promotes a strong core. Due to the exercise’s focus on bending, stretching, and holding poses, it also promotes strength in your spine throughout the poses. Get familiar with yoga and branch out into the various niche versions, like hot yoga, which takes place in a particularly hot room to promote better elasticity during stretches. After plenty of instruction on the proper and safe ways to perform the poses, include yoga in your daily stretches to really accentuate the stretching process.
For those more invested in overall strength rather than limberness and flexibility, plenty of weightlifting exercises help promote back and spinal strength. Those without prior weightlifting instruction or who haven’t been regularly exercising can start with simpler exercises like push-ups and unweighted squats. Burpees are also full-body exercises that can help core and spinal strength. With proper instruction and experience, dumbbell lifts like chest flies and lateral raises are back-targeting lifts you can use to help reinforce your back and spinal strength. Rows and squats also target the back and core muscles. As with all weightlifting, start out with light weights (or even no weight at all) until you’re certain your form is correct and safe. Attempt to add more weight at a slow, but natural pace, in small increments so you don’t hurt yourself.
These are methods to strengthen your spine before pain or injury has occurred. It’s not a good idea to keep doing these things if you’re already suffering from back pain. Consult your physician or other healthcare professionals about ways to help your pain before you resort to doing it yourself, as you can cause more damage than good. Don’t push the limits of your pain tolerance or health unnecessarily.
Hopefully with these tips you can lead a fit, healthy life with minimal back pain and injury. Make this goal-oriented with your health and wellbeing in mind. The best way to keep on track to a strong, healthy back and spine is to focus on your future health. Results will not be instantaneous but will be gratifying in the future. A straighter posture and stronger back aren’t at the end of the sprint, but a trip, and the only thing you need to do to get there is commit.
Jayson believes there are many solutions to your back pain. Having personally suffered from back pain he has tried them all. He started writing in hope of sharing his experiences with those who are looking for help.