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Get Back On Track This New Year With These Healthy Tips

spine advice from our Ealing chiropractorNew Years is the perfect time of year to think about your health. You can reflect on any health issues you have experienced during the course of the year and look for solutions which will help you be healthier throughout the coming year.

Many of the patients visiting our chiropractor in Ealing just after the New Year break clearly want to get their year off to a healthy start. They have many questions about how they can live a healthier lifestyle and reduce the impact of any chronic health conditions they are experiencing.

Our experienced team of Ealing chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre are more than happy to provide some guidance and have many useful tips to share. In this post, our chiropractor highlights a few of the best tips for maintaining a healthy back. These simple lifestyle changes can dramatically improve your flexibility, posture, and overall back health. 

 

Tips For Improving Your Back Health From Our Ealing Chiropractor

#1 – Make exercise Fun Instead of a Chore

Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy back. However, many people struggle to exercise regularly because they see it as being a chore. Try reframing the way you see exercise by turning it into a time of the day where you focus on yourself and perform an activity that you actually enjoy.

Start by having a think about the types of exercise that you find fun. Forget about what is most effective, just think about what is most enjoyable. Even if sitting on an elliptical machine might help you lose weight quickly, what’s the point of choosing that type of workout if you hate it so much you begin avoiding exercise altogether.

If you like nature, spend more time hiking. If you find riding a bike to be fun, stick with that. You can also improve the enjoyability of your workouts in other ways like:

  • Exercising with a friend, so working out becomes a fun, social activity
  • Listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music while working out
  • Workout in a location that you love visiting
  • Attach a reward to your workout, like visiting a cafe when you go for a long bike ride 

Many of the patients who visit our chiropractors achieve results by simply changing the way they see exercise. I have seen several older patients who have transformed their lives by simply going for a 30 minute walk each day with friends. The physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise are extraordinary.

If you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions you should consult with a trained medical professional before starting any new form of exercise.

#2 – Strengthen your core muscles

Your “core” muscles are the muscles located in your abdominal region and lower back. They are an important group of muscles as they support the torso and give the body the stability it needs to move its limbs effectively.

Having strong core muscles also means your body can support the spine more effectively. This takes pressure off the lower back and reduces the likelihood of back pain occurring.

Unfortunately, many of the people visiting The Spine & Joint Centre for chiropractic care have very weak core muscles. Their core is weak because they spend an inordinate amount of time performing sedentary activities like sitting at a desk all day, or lounging on the couch watching television or using their smart phone.

To strengthen your core, incorporate some exercises that target this group of muscles. This article shares a few of the best. You can also perform daily activities in a way that strengthens your core muscles, as shown in this article. Strengthening your core will reduce the likelihood that you will need chiropractic care to treat a sore back in the future.

If you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions you should consult with a trained medical professional before starting any new form of exercise.

 

#3 – Help your spine rest while sleeping

When you sleep at night, your spine finally has a chance to relax and recuperate. It has been placed under stress during the day as you have performed various daily activities. It’s important to make the most of the time you spend sleeping, particularly if you suffer from back pain.

  • Buy a high-quality mattress if your current one is uncomfortable or very old
  • Try to sleep on your back more often, as it is the best position for spinal health
  • Make a habit of going to bed and getting up at the same times
  • Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night (more if you are a teenager or child)
  • If you are a back sleeper, use a thin pillow and medium/firm mattress. Side sleepers should opt for a thicker pillow and soft/medium mattress. This will help you retain a neutral spinal position while sleeping.

 

#4 – Make sure your shoes are comfortable

A surprisingly high number of people visiting The Spine & Joint Centre complain that their shoes aren’t particularly comfortable. They are surprised to learn that wearing uncomfortable shoes can impact the health of their back.

We recommend wearing shoes that provide a stable platform with plenty of traction. The heel and the toe of the shoe should be snug, but not over tight. Ideally, it should also provide an effective cushion for your steps.

Having good shoes is particularly important when exercising.

 

#5 – Stretch more often

Stretching is extremely beneficial for your back. It can:

  • Decrease muscle stiffness
  • Improve your posture
  • Reduce muscular tension
  • Relieves aches and pains
  • Improve the mechanical efficiency of your body

The best way to incorporate stretching into your day is to make it a habit by performing it at certain times. When you wake in the morning, get into the habit of performing a 5 or 10 minutes stretching routine. Stretch before you workout and have a quick stretch before bed. You will be amazed by how much it can improve the health of your back.

 

#6 – Improve your posture and limit time spent sitting

The quality of your posture has a direct impact on the health of your back. If you often sit around in a hunched over position, it can eventually change the function of the joints and muscles in the spine.

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has developed a programme called Straighten Up UK which is designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.

Our chiropractors encourage adults and children to follow the 3 minute programme and make it a part of their daily lives – just like brushing our teeth.

Take steps to improve your posture this year. It really could be life changing.

 

#7 – Lose Some Weight

Carrying extra weight places more strain on the musculoskeletal system. It increases the likelihood that you will suffer from various back problems and really limits your mobility.

Some of the point that have already been covered can help with weight loss such as taking regular exercise.

 

If you are experiencing back pain or have any questions about back health that are not answered here, our Ealing chiropractors are here to help you. You can make an appointment with one of our team at The Spine & Joint Centre by calling 020 8900 9004 today.


The Spine and Joint CentreFrom the Team at The Spine and Joint Centre

Experienced Ealing and Harrow Chiropractors and Osteopaths that care for You
Serving the local communities of North West London
Including Ealing, Harrow, Wembley and Sudbury