Healthy Back
The human back is the large posterior area of the human body.
1. Lift right
Its very easy to twist the wrong way and damage your spine if you dont use proper form when lifting an object. Heres how to lift correctly: Stand as close to the object as you can. Use your legs rather than your back or upper body to pull up the item. It will help if you bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the item. Keep your back straight. If the item is heavy, dont try to lift it yourself get help.
2. Sleep tight
Sleeping well is important to your overall health, says Anne Coffey, DC, a chiropractor with AllCare Health Associates in Totowa, N.J. Your body needs a good nights sleep to repair itself, she says. Sleep on your side, not your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach puts too much pressure on your spine. Invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck, Dr. Coffey says. Be sure to turn your mattress regularly so that it wears evenly.
3. Stretch out
I never go a day without reminding people that they need to stretch to help their back and neck, Coffey says. Keeping flexible helps maintain normal joint function and a good range of motion. It also reduces the risk of injury. Many back pain problems are caused by tight hamstrings muscles in the backs of your legs. If your hamstring muscles are tight, they will pull on the bottom of your pelvis and encourage it to rotate backward. This can then create postural changes and put added stress on the entire spine and its articulations (where two or more bones connect), Coffey says. If you start your day with a few good stretches, it will not only be invigorating, but also will promote your spinal health.
4. Stay active
Whether you make regular visits to the gym, walk, bike, swim, or play with your kids, staying active and keeping your body moving helps maintain the health of your spine, Coffey says. The best exercise routine for your back and neck is one that combines stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity. Exercise also helps you to lose weight or maintain a proper weight. Being overweight, especially if you have belly fat, can put added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your lower back.
5. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important to maintaining soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints, Coffey says. Our intervertebral (spinal) discs are vulnerable to loss of hydration and can begin to lose height. As the discs begin to shrink, you are more vulnerable to painful disc conditions such as bulging or ruptures. In addition, as the spine begins to lose its protective padding, it further contributes to the loss of structural health, she says.

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  • Maintaining Posture - Safe lifting

    To safeguard the spine and joints in age, remember the rules of lifting and carrying: keep heavy loads close to your center of gravity, distribute weight evenly on right and left feet, and when picking up and putting down bend your legs, not your spine. Consciously engage your core muscles and inhale as you lift, exhale as you put down. If you have to carry heavy bags frequently, invest in a backpack with padded shoulder straps, safer for the spine than carrying loads over one shoulder.
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