In the context of human anatomy, a spine is a backbone. A progression of vertebrae elongating from the skull and has a natural curve that creates an S-shape. The bends and curves present on the vertebral column safeguard your spine from potential injuries and serve as shock absorbers. The spine is stacked with 33 vertebrae, protected by numerous connective tissues providing a cushioning effect. The spine comprises nerves and muscles that communicate to your entire body. The spine is a vital part of our anatomy, and it is essential to maintain and keep the spine healthy.
How to Maintain a Healthy Spine
1. Stand whenever possible
Having to juggle work or school takes a lot of our time, and while at it, we sit a lot. To maintain spine alignment, you will need the movement of the back, and you can achieve this by using a stand-up desk while working or a comfortable couch or bean bag encouraging the back to be upright. Maintaining an upright posture while standing helps eliminate pressure and discomfort in your back.
Yoga incorporates muscles and movement on your spine, creating a great range of motion. During yoga, while stretching some muscles, you also flex others, creating a strong core. A strong core signifies a healthy spine because you can hold yoga poses for more extended periods. For starters, you can start with easy and light poses before you gradually move to more challenging poses. The core strength cannot be measured as your endurance and capability to do much more complex yoga poses signifies that you have a healthy spine.
3. Avoid Smoking
The presence of nicotine in the blood and body causes blood vessels to tighten, narrow and constrict since it acts as a vasoconstrictor. Smoking affects the vertebral bone by looking into the analysis of fusion healing. Due to this, smoking alternates the vertebral bone, decreases oxygen supply, decreases bone growth formation, and decreases bone density. All these inhibit cell proliferation and the growth of cells in bones.
Smokers have recorded more vertebral spine issues as nicotine affects the spine more than any other bone in the body. If you aim to maintain a healthy spine and are a smoker, your efforts go down the drain, as smoking is one of the leading causes of vertebral malfunction.
Swimming is a low-impact activity that entails movement which accelerates the movement of bones and muscles and can help in the alignment and maintenance of a healthy spine. Focusing on core abdominal and back muscles, swimming strokes such as the backstroke engage the back, and with the help of the water, that brings buoyancy which takes the stress off the back.
Swimming is a great way to keep you active and still engage your back and core, helping you maintain a healthy spine. You can commit to swimming lessons or practice swimming at least twice a week to support your spine and core. Gradually you can add the number of days, and you will experience a significant improvement in back pain or spine issues.
5. Choose your food wisely
You can start by avoiding foods that cause inflammation. Your diet is a huge factor in determining whether you have a healthy spine. Learn more about foods that can be found in the environment where you live.
Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and dairy is vital for a healthy spine. Foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and silica, such as oatmeal, soybeans, green vegetables, whole grains, and canned baked beans, help make bone cells and prevent spinal problems.
Consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts, are great for your spine. Omega-3-rich foods reduce inflammation which benefits your bones and tissues. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are also a rich source of calcium.
Finally, remember to stay hydrated. Water prevents your spinal discs from the lose of fluids. Spinal fluid loss cause the shrinking of discs leading to slipped or ruptured discs which can be extremely painful and challenging to treat. Minimize processed foods, sweets and stick to a healthy diet that will support your health, weight, and spinal health.
The spine supports the whole body, so it is critical for you to maintain and have a healthy spine to carry you through life. With age, naturally, you might have back, neck, or spinal pain as the bones tend to weaken and become more tender. However, you can maintain a strong spine by eating healthy natural foods, practicing yoga, swimming, and engaging in other physical activities. Avoid spending too much time sitting down or leading a dormant lifestyle. Long-term pain from spinal injuries can cause distress, depression and affect other body functions.