4 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Back

dsc09376-01I live a very active lifestyle! Between fishing, the gym and everyday life I put my back through its paces.  I struggled with chronic back pain for years until finally having minimally invasive spine surgery at the Laser Spine Institute.  There are a few things that I do to maintain a healthy back, and ensure I’m in top shape for whatever hurdles life throws at me. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience back pain every single day.

1) Maintain a strong core

Strengthening your core is very important, as your core is what gives you gooddsc02999-01 posture and reduces strain on the lower back. According to a recent study on back pain,  poor core strength causes back discomfort due to these muscles not providing the spine with enough support to stay upright (Prevention of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.) One exercise that I try to do every day is planking. Planking also improves your posture, balance and stability.  Visit this link at the Laser Spine Wellness blog to learn how to plank and do other helpful exercises Laser Spine Wellness: 4 exercises to help relieve stenosis pain 

2) Sleep Techniques

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Adults spend 1/3 of their life sleeping. Needless to say, the way you sleep has a major effect on how your back feels throughout the day. By perfecting your sleep position,  you put the least strain on your back. Some steps that I took were to buy a firm bed, and also ice my back, before sleep and after strenuous activity. Other methods that will help you get the best night sleep include sleeping in a neutral “S” position, and also using supportive pillows.  For more information, Here’s a great article on Maintaining good posture while sleeping via Laser Spine Institute.

3) Meditation and Relaxation 

Our body needs rest in order to repair tissue that has been damaged. Our daily lives put strain on our back and this causes stress to build up in our bodies in the form of muscle tension.  Meditation, deep relaxation and breathing are great ways to relieve muscle tension. A recent study by The Journal of the American Medical Association stated that “people screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-47-23-amwho practiced mindfulness meditation, breathing, yoga and cognitive behavioral changes had significantly less back pain that those who continued usual treatments.” For more information visit Laser Spine Wellness: Study Finds mindfulness meditation and yoga ease back pain

4) Improve Flexibility Through Stretching

Tightness in your muscles and tension is the root of back pain. Stretching and working on your flexibility are very important in maintaining a healthy back. According to Len Kravitz, Ph.D. and Ron Andrews M.S., P.T., of the University of New Mexico, a lack of flexibility in the lower body, particularly in the hamstrings, buttocks and hip flexors causes lower back pain and is “one of the leading causes of physical limitation in the U.S.”  In the video below, on the Laser Spine Institute YouTube channel, I demonstrate some of my favorite stretches.

 

Take it from me…living with chronic back pain for over 10 years was no fun and prevented medsc08467-1-01  from living my life to the fullest. After surgery at Laser Spine Institute, I gained my life back. It’s been over 7 years since my procedure and I couldn’t be happier about the results. Through the methods I mentioned above, it allows me to maintain a healthy back and active lifestyle. Laser Spine Institute has treated over 60,000 patients. If you or someone you know is seeking relief from chronic neck or back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today and see how they can help you get your life back.