This Valentine’s Day, excuse me – ValenSPine’s Day is a wonderful time to take better care of the part of the body that allows you full movement, life, health and healing!  The spine surrounds and protects your spinal cord which is the information super highway that sends all the life and healing signals from the brain to every organ, muscle and cell of the body.  With the Spinal Cord’s signals firing at over 280 mph, the spine should be as healthy as possible to not cause harm or hindrance of these important life signals.  So on a day where love is the overall theme – let’s take a moment to love the spine as it will return the love with a better quality and quantity of life!

  • Chiropractic Care.  Doctors of Chiropractic (DC ) endure the same amount of post-college educational hours as Medical Doctors, but in the specific case of Chiropractors they focus their training not only on physiology and anatomy, but also on the detection and correction of spinal misalignments (subluxations).  Like cavities to the teeth, Subluxations are the decay of the spine.  Over time, subluxations can lead to altered biomechanics, decreased ranges of motion, degeneration or arthritis of the spine, muscle tension, pain and organ/bodily issues.   DC’s are the only type of primary care physicians who work every day to correct spinal subluxations for pain relief, improved quality of life and improved athletic performance without the use of drugs and surgery.
  • Proper Posture.  Whether sitting at work, school, driving the car, reading a book or watching TV, your posture is so important as bad posture can put extra strain on your spine, body and you may feel it as back pain, arm or leg numbness.  Try to sit with your shoulders back and with a straight spine.  Your ears should line up with your shoulders.  Make sure that your body’s weight is evenly distributed and your knees and shoulders (if on the computer) should be at 90 degree right angles with your feet flat on the floor.  This will minimize the strain on your spine and back muscles.
  • Sleep Properly.  Sleep is important to repair, recharge and revitalize your body and health.  Ensure a proper rest by making sure you have a quality mattress and pillows.  When sleeping on your back (best position), make sure that your head is not propped up at a high angle from a large pillow.  A thin pillow with a cervical support is best.  A pillow under your knees will take tension of your low back.  If you sleep on your side, make sure to have a thick pillow to keep your spine (neck and back) properly aligned without any kinks or angles.  In the side position, a pillow is best placed between your knees as this takes pressure off your hips.  Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can strain your neck and spine.
  • Strengthen Your Core Muscles. Exercises that target your core, like abdominals and low back can greatly remove stress from your back.  At your local gym, seek out a qualified personal trainer to help you make sure you use proper form as to avoid injury.  Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to strength core muscles and add flexibility to your spine.
  • Weight Control.  Unnecessary weight gain can put unwanted pressure on your spine and joints.  Just a little extra pounds can lead to a whole lot of distress and lead to pain, inflammation and set you up for an injury.  With proper weight management you can help your spine support your body with less stress and strain.
  • Stretch.  Stretching before exercising is good for the muscles and helps warm them up.  Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and can help prevent sports related injuries.  Stretching your back can also help soothe and manage your back pain.