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Spine Health: 4 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Spine

Updated: Mar 12

These simple guidelines can help you avoid pain and keep your back and spine in good shape.

In this guide, we'll explore practical tips and exercises to help you care for your spine and promote a strong, flexible, and pain-free back.

Spine Health 101

Our spine is one of the most important parts of our body. It not only gives our body the structure and support, but the spine also protects our spinal cord, which is a column of nerves that connects our brain to the rest of our body, allowing us to control our movements. The spine also protects our organs, and if it is unhealthy, it can affect our organ functions.

A healthy spine is crucial for overall well-being, and it plays a pivotal role in maintaining mobility and preventing pain. Incorporating regular exercises and cultivating good posture habits are essential components of spinal care.

To achieve a healthy spine, it is important to remember 4 key factors:

1) Strength

The core refers to the central part of the body, comprising the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and hips. These muscles work together to provide stability and support for the spine, contributing to overall posture and movement. A strong and well-conditioned core is essential for movement, maintaining balance and preventing injuries. The core serves to support the spine in daily tasks and exercise. Both the spine and the core play integral roles in ensuring bodily function, mobility, and overall physical well-being.

Because most of us have sedentary lifestyles, our core muscles are rarely used enough during our daily activities. These muscles need to be toned and strengthened through targeted core strengthening exercises.

2) Endurance

Strength and endurance often go hand-in-hand. Muscle strength is the ability to exert a force in a short period of time whereas muscle endurance is the ability to repeat an action over and over or maintain a posture for an extended period of time without getting tired.

Doing fewer repetitions with heavier weights will help you increase your strength. Doing more repetitions with lighter weights will help you build up endurance. Both are equally important.

To build endurance, repetition is key.

3) Balance

Key factors influencing balance include having:

  • a strong core, including abdominal and lower back muscles, which is crucial for stabilising the spine and maintaining balance.

  • strong muscles in your lower body, especially those around the ankles, knees, and hips – these play a significant role in supporting the body's weight and promoting stability.

One of the best balancing exercises is the Single Leg Stance. It's best to start off by using a steady chair for support. Stand behind the chair and hold on to the back of it and lift your right foot and balance only on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch to the other foot.

The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.

4) Flexibility

Keeping your spine healthy means that you ensure that you are flexible. Try these stretches to increase mobility:

Middle Back Stretches

Back/Lower Limb Stretches

Attempt the exercises in this guide only if you are comfortable and are not in pain. If you are unsure which exercise is suitable for you, please check with your doctor. If you’d like more advice on how to improve your spine health, please make an appointment with us and our physiotherapists will be able to help you.

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