Valentine’s Day may have come and gone but that’s no reason to show your back some love (and yourself!). At Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham our chiropractors have put together some self care tips that will help you improve the health of your back and avoid an unexpected trip to our clinic.
Improve The Way You Sleep
The structures in the spine use the time you spend sleeping to rejuvenate. The spine will decompress as you rest, allowing the intervertebral discs to rehydrate and get ready for the day ahead. The body will also attempt to repair any damage to the back’s muscles, ligaments, and other tissues.
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your spine may not have the opportunity to repair and rejuvenate itself. This can lead to muscular tension and premature wear to the intervertebral discs. Here are a few tips to help you improve the way you sleep and improve the health of your back:
- Use a sleep posture that keeps the spine naturally aligned
Your goal should be to keep the natural s-curve of your spine and to keep the spine centred in the body. If you are a back sleeper, this means you should use a low profile pillow so your neck remains in a neutral position. If you are a side sleeper, use a higher pillow and tuck a small pillow between your knees to keep your neck and hips balanced.
- Opt for a medium-firm mattress
A medium-firm mattress will provide more support for your spine compared to a saggy old mattress that slumps in the middle.
- Practice good sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene refers to the habits and practices which help you sleep well. They include things like making your room conducive to sleep (dark, quiet, comfortable), going to bed at the same time each night, having a fixed wake up time, avoiding electronics in the hours leading up to bed and so on. Read more about sleep hygiene here.
Get A Massage
In addition to making you feel great, massage provides some excellent health benefits for the back and spine. It will:
- Loosen tight muscles and connective tissues
Relieving pain, improving your posture, and reducing the risk of an injury.
- Increase blood flow
More blood will make its way to the part of the body being massaged, which can speed up healing by delivering more nutrients to that area.
- Promote a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation
It’s a great way to give yourself a boost and support activities like exercise.
Perform Some Core Strengthening Exercises
The body’s ‘core’ refers to a collection of muscles which are located in the lower back and abdomen. They are very important muscles, as they help to support the spine and promote mobility. Having a stronger core will protect your back from injury and help you stay active.
There are several exercises you can perform to improve your core strength. They include the Plank, Abdominal Crunch, Butterfly Situp, and Abdominal Press. Checkout this short article to see some of these exercises in action.
Go For A Walk Everyday
Walking daily is a simple way to maintain the health of your spine. It is particularly useful for strengthening the muscles which support the spine, reducing the risk of injury and improving flexibility. Walking can also help you lose weight, which further reduces the stresses and strains on the spine.
We’ve written extensively about the benefits of walking before on the blog and offered some tips for getting started in the past. Here is a link to a recent post we wrote about the benefits of walking with a few of the best walking spots in and around Fareham.
Employ Good Ergonomics When Sitting
Siting with good ergonomics minimises the stresses placed on your body. It ensures that your body will be positioned in a way that is as natural as possible. This means your joints will be well aligned, your spine will maintain its natural S-curve and you won’t be hunched over or in an awkward position.
This guide from NHS shares some advice on how to sit with good ergonomics. If you are unsure about maintaining good ergonomics, ask us about it during your next visit to Homewood Chiropractic clinic.
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort our team of chiropractors are here to help you. Call our clinic on 01329 280 283 to book an appointment or you can book online on our website here.