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Ten tips for a healthy spine

March 9, 2021

These are the things that as a chiropractor, I would love everyone to know and understand.

1. Know what normal is. Health is normal. Hurting your self sometimes, taking time to recover from an injury, soreness as you work to increase muscle strength or range of movement; they can all be normal too. Injuries that come back all the time, persistent pain; that is never normal!

2. The solution lies with the cause. This means that you need to know what the cause is! As daunting as it can be having an assessment by a professional, it is the fastest and usually the most accurate way to get to the origin of your particular discomfort. You may only have your own limited experience , but your chiropractor will have probably seen people experiencing just what you are many times before, and also will know the ins and outs of what you will need to do, and not do, to recover.

3. Speaking of assessments; feeling good and being healthy can be two completely different things. Although ultimately we all just want to feel good and get on with our life, there is a big difference between feeling well and being well, and being symptom free until the next bout of headaches comes along. Using only how you feel as a metric just doesn’t work – try this instead. Have someone you feel comfortable with take a photo of you while you are standing in line, or checking your emails at your desk. If your head is jutting forward from the tip of your shoulder, then you have forward head posture, aka ‘textneck’.  This is one easy way to tell that your spine and posture are not working for you. Other tests, believe it or not, are your balance and lung capacity.

4. Walking is great for your spine. A gentle, low impact way to move your whole spine.

5. Taking your spine gently and slowly through its range of movement – forward bend, side lean, backwards and rotation is a great way to maintain your natural mobility and also stretch out the soft tissue around your joints.

6. Breathe – Regular and deep breathing is an effective way to control your physiology in a calmer state, one where healing is much easier.

7. Recovery. Just as when you are ill, your body does it’s recovering and repairing when you are at rest.

8. Pacing; It is important when recommencing exercise and other movement activities that you both begin from where you are (rather than where you were), and that you pace the increase in activity – try not to let your expectations outstrip your ability!

9. The law of time; There is no process in nature and life, that does not require time. The amount of time can sometimes bear little resemblance to what we hope or believe will happen, but it is constant; 12 weeks for symptomatic improvement of soft tissue injuries for example, and as long as 18 months overall.

10. There is no process that lasts forever! Keep on doing your right actions with consistency, for the full healing time, and be rewarded for your effort. You can do it!

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