It’s that time of year again! As the old saying goes, “Out with the old and in with the new.” New Years resolutions are a tradition for many people to better themselves. Whether it is to get healthier or make more money, there are always things we can do to improve ourselves. Many New Year’s resolutions are about health and wellness, so why not make resolutions to take care of your back this year? If you have been experiencing pain in your neck or lower back, it may be time to think about setting and keeping these New Year’s Resolutions for your spine:
Many people resolve to exercise more. While this is a great resolution, you should develop an exercise plan that avoids placing excess stress on your spine when you’re exercising. Certain types of exercise are better for your spine than others. For example, low-impact exercises such as stationary biking, exercise walking, elliptical trainer, and swimming, allow you to exercise without placing excess strain on the spine. Core exercises aimed at strengthening your abdominal and back muscles are also good to relieve lower back pain. It is also important to stretch and warm up before any strenuous activities in order to minimize the risk of injury.
Modify Your Work Routine
If you have a sedentary job, try taking breaks every hour or two for some light activity like walking around the office. Sitting in one position for too long can cause back pain and stiffness, so stretching or walking can help decrease this. If you still find yourself sitting for long periods of time, try using a lumbar support to help keep your spine in alignment. This will help reduce the amount of stress on your spine. You can also use a pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind your lower back for support. Finally, be sure that your work setup allows for proper ergonomics.
Get More Sleep
It’s hard to relax and rejuvenate your spine if you’re not getting enough sleep. However, it can be tricky to get enough sleep if you already have back pain. To help you sleep better, you can try sleeping in certain positions and/or using extra pillows to provide back support while you sleep. Sleeping in an ideal position allows your spine to relax, whereas a bad sleeping position can actually make your back pain worse.
Choose Your Shoes
Whether you’re exercising or working, the shoes you wear on a daily basis directly affect your spine. Shoes like high heels or flip-flops don’t provide enough support and can cause your spine to work harder to keep you balanced. You want to make sure that you have comfortable, well-fitting shoes with a supportive base. In some cases, shoe orthotics can also be helpful and they can be used to make your existing shoes more supportive.
See a Spine Specialist
If you have been suffering from back or neck pain for some time, a good resolution to make is to make an appointment with your local spine specialist. There are a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatments for back pain that may very well help to significantly decrease your discomfort. Consulting with a spine specialist about your options is a great way to determine if there are additional things you should be doing to decrease your back pain and take care of your spine.
So there you have it – some simple New Year’s resolutions to help keep your spine happy and healthy! If you are still experiencing back pain, be sure to consult a doctor for professional advice and treatment. Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!