Like many of our patients, the team at the Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic and Shockwave Clinic are focused on a bit of healthy living as we move into the New Year.
If you want better spine and joint health in 2020, there are some really simple things you can do.
Why is Spine and Joint Health Important?
Your skeleton provides the support your body needs to function. Our joints allow us to move easily – sit, dance, run and walk – our spine keeps us upright. It might sound a little obvious but without them, we’d be totally lost.
It’s remarkable, therefore, that so many of us take our spine and joints for granted. We don’t exercise, we eat bad food, put on weight, slouch in front of the TV and pick up heavy loads without paying one ounce of attention to the stress it’s putting on our backs. Then we complain when we get those twinges or suffer from pain.
Part of the service we provide at our chiropractic and osteopathic clinic is to advise people how to maintain better ‘structural’ health. Here we took at 10 habits you can quickly get into that will go a long way to protect your back and joints.
1. Exercise Regularly
We cannot really underestimate the power of regular exercise when it comes to full body and mind health. It’s also particularly good for the spine and joints.
Exercise gets the blood flowing, the joints moving and delivers higher levels of oxygen to our cells and vital organs. One of those organs, of course, is the spine.
Exercise doesn’t have to be intensive. You can get just as much health benefit for your spine and joints by going for a daily walk. If you want an exercise regime that was perfectly designed for your body’s bony infrastructure, try yoga or Pilates. It’s perfect!
2. Eat Properly
Second to exercise, having a healthy, balanced diet is the next thing that our Tunbridge Wells chiropractic team suggest. What we put in our bodies is essential. Swap those processed and sugary foods for healthier options and you’ll soon begin to feel the benefits.
Oily fish like salmon, red peppers, cherries and walnuts are all thought to have some benefits for maintaining supple joints. Our advice is to forget the homeopathic joint supplements and look at changing your diet for the better.
3. Stay Hydrated
We are bombarded with information online that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water every day. The truth is that most of us get the hydration we need through our daily drink and food (and yes tea and coffee are counted).
We suggest that you avoid sugary drinks that can have detrimental impact on your health and drink water more often than not. And, before you ask, tap water is fine.
4. Sleep Better
Sleep can be a challenge and it has a big impact on our lives. A bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling tired and lacking energy and focus. It can also affect our mental health. The key to a good night’s sleep is a great mattress. It’s also good for keeping your spine in good alignment and protecting your joint health. Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed and get into some good night time habits.
5. Check Your Posture at Work
Many of us work in offices nowadays. We spend the day slouched over our desks and that can have a huge impact on spinal health. It’s one of the main reason why so many people have lower back problems.
Watch your posture while sitting at a desk. Keep your back straight, make sure the chair is adjusted to the right height and keep your hips back. Don’t forget to get up at regular intervals and stretch.
6. Work Your Joints
You can easily work the range of motion in your important joints. Shoulder rolls and arm twists can be done slowly, even if there’s a bit of stiffness. Make sure you don’t push beyond your limit but practice regularly and you should expect to maintain reasonably healthy joints even if you are unable to exercise.
7. Quit Bad Habits
There are some bad habits that can have an impact over time on your spine and joints and many of us are guilty of at least one or two of them. Our chiropractic and osteopathic team have their own top four:
- Quit slouching on the couch.
- Cut down on your drinking.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid overeating and lose weight.
We all know these habits have detrimental effects on us in other ways. Cutting them out of our life, or at least cutting down, can have really big benefits.
8. Become Mindful
What do we mean by this? Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and listening to our bodies and thoughts. When you’re walking down the street, it’s easy to let you mind wander onto what’s worrying you. Instead, concentrate on your body and listen to it. When you sit at your desk at work be equally mindful.
You’ll be surprised how it helps you to change the way you move and means you pay more attention to your body, including its aches and pains. Check out this simple guide on what mindfulness can do for you.
9. Learn to Lift
Has your back ever gone after lifting a heavy load? You’re not alone. It’s something we often see at our Tunbridge Wells chiropractic clinic. No one really ever teaches us to lift properly. Certain professions such as nurses have training in this important area but the rest of us don’t.
Check out these safe lifting tips from the NHS. They’ll save you a lot of pain in the future!
10. Get a Chiropractic Workout
Finally, a regular visit to a chiropractor or osteopath can help you maintain joint and spinal health well into old age. At the Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic and Shockwave Clinic, we’re experts who can help keep your body’s bony structure in tip-top health.
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