Good overall health is the first step towards making sure your spine stays healthy. Prevention is also key to long-term back health. Here are a few tips:
- Warm up and cool down before beginning physical activities such as running, sports and even gardening. Take a few minutes to stretch and ease into the activity.
- Be mindful of repeat motions such as shoveling or reaching. Take frequent breaks and when possible switch hands.
- Maintain good posture especially in situations where you are seated for a long period of time. Stand up periodically or take a short walk.
- When lifting heavy objects, pay close attention to the way you are lifting. Bend your knees, tuck in your pelvis and hug the load. Never reach for a heavy object.
- Maintain a healthy diet and limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of water. Quit smoking.
- Ensure you get enough sleep each night.
- Manage emotional stress as best you can.