The spinal column runs down the middle of your back and contains the spinal cord, which is like a superhighway of nerves that connect your brain to every tissue in your body. Needless to say, the health of your spine is of paramount importance. From the lateral or side view, your spine contains three main curves, which are needed for flexibility and stability. However, viewing your spine from the back, it should be straight and not deviate from side-to-side very much at all. Some people are born with abnormally curved spines, but ill health, poor posture and inadequate nutrition are more responsible for spinal pathology.
Understanding How to Care for Your Spine
1. Maintain good posture. Maintaining good posture while you sit, walk and sleep is probably the most important thing you can do for the health of your spine.
2. Wear quality shoes. Your feet are crucial for good posture because they are the foundation for your entire body.
3. Sleep on a firm mattress. You likely spend at least 1/3 of your life in your bed, so pay a little more attention to the quality of your mattress and how you sleep on it.
4. Avoid carrying a heavy backpack or messenger bag. Even if you are only carrying the weight from class to class, or from school back home, the weight of a heavy backpack can have serious consequences on your spinal health.
5. Exercise and be more active. Moderate exercise has many health benefits, including weight loss and increased muscle strength, which both positively impact the spine.
6. Intake the necessary nutrients. To maintain strong, straight and healthy bones, certain nutrients are needed.
Evaluating Your Spine
1. Get a scoliosis screen.
2. See a medical specialist.
3. See a chiropractor or osteopath.
4. Be aware of a small hemipelvis.
Getting Helpful Treatments
1. Get chiropractic adjustments.
2. See a massage therapist.
3. Seek out physiotherapy.
4. Get a prescription for medication.
5. Consider surgery.