By Jack R. Pines, III, M.D.
The New Year will be here before we know it, so it is time to make a plan to help ensure 2021 starts off on the right foot! With the year of quarantine nearly behind us, now is the perfect time to focus on the health of your spine. There are plenty of ways to work on the health of your neck and back from home—here are some recommendations from the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center to help you improve the shape of your spine:
Stay Active and Stretch
Increasing physical activity and stretching can not only help your spine, but also improve your overall health in many ways. Aerobic exercises, like walking, and a good stretching routine or implementing yoga can be very beneficial when it comes to the health of your spine. Aerobic exercise helps by promoting blood flow to the tissues, including the small muscles located in your neck and back. This increase in blood flow helps deliver nutrients and oxygen which can help repair injured or damaged tissue. Stretching promotes a strengthened core and improved flexibility, both of which can drastically improve the stability, health and overall function of your spine. This increased function of the spine may also lead to the reduction and improvement of pain.
• Aerobic activity: walking at a moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes 3-5 days per week.
• Stretching exercises: bridges, knee to chest, hamstring stretches and hip stretches.
• Strengthening exercises: crunches, superman low back extensions and push-ups.
For a more formal home exercise and stretching routine, consult your spine physician or consider spine physical therapy to enhance the health of your spine as we move into 2021.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting good quality sleep is a great New Year’s resolution to improve the health of your spine. Sleep is a restorative process, a time for your body to relax and heal damaged and inflamed tissues. In order for this to happen your body must experience deep stages of REM and non-REM sleep. However, this is often a vicious cycle as back pain can actually cause the inability to get a good night’s rest.
Here are some steps you can take this New Year to improve your sleep hygiene:
• Remove electronic devices such as TV’s and cell phones
from the bedroom
• Avoid caffeine before bed
• Be consistent with your bedtime
• Incorporate things to relax like reading or hot tea
If your neck or back pain is preventing sleep, consider evaluating your mattress and pillow to ensure you have the appropriate support your body needs while trying to rest.
Here’s to a Healthy 2021 The team at Resurgens Spine Center hopes these tips help you keep your spine healthy in 2021.
Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations • ResurgensSpine.com