Five Spine Health Tips for Women on the Go
Maybe you’re running late this morning. Your phone is ringing while your child decides that Tuesday would be better without shoes or you spill coffee on your pants. No matter what kind of routine you have, a busy schedule is one of the biggest reasons why women put their health on the backburner. Neglecting your health — especially your spine wellness — can put you at risk for developing neck and back pain as well as other serious health conditions.
Get the scoop from Dr. Michelle Briscoe, D.C., a Chiropractor at Laser Spine Institute and Dr. Monica Vargas, M.D., a Physiatrist at Laser Spine Institute, on how you can take charge of your spine health during that daily grind.
Smart Snacking — Try planning your week with protein-packed snacks like cheese and nuts, as well as filling fruits like oranges and apples. “I’ll use my dehydrator to make homemade beef jerky without preservatives, then bring that to work with me,” said Dr. Briscoe. “The biggest thing you can do is eliminate refined carbs and refined sugar.” A healthy diet may prevent excess weight gain, which will prevent additional strain on your spine.
Stop and Breathe — “Breathing is something simple you can do that only takes a few seconds,” said Dr. Vargas. “Take deep breaths while counting to 10.” According to Dr. Vargas, this will help with meditation and relaxation. Controlled breathing techniques can also help your heart rate, blood pressure and mood. By relieving stress, you may also avoid neck and back pain by reducing muscle tension.
Be Consistent — “Try working out for 30 minutes a day instead of doing one big workout on the weekend,” said Dr. Vargas. “Consistency is much more effective than the weekend warrior routine.” By keeping a steady fitness routine — even if it’s something small every day — you can improve your overall wellness while preventing or reducing neck and back pain.
Keep Moving — As easy as it sounds, reminding yourself to stay moving during your workday can be a challenge. If you’re sitting, it’s important to get up, walk and stretch. Choose the stairs instead of elevators and park your car farther out in the parking lot for extra walking. “Your muscles tend to shorten and tighten when sitting for long periods of time,” said Dr. Briscoe. Changing positions and moving frequently can help you improve circulation and decrease the tension that leads to back pain.
Halt your High Heels — You want to look fashionable and professional, but those high heels come at a cost to your spine health. “High heels can change the biomechanics of your spine,” said. Dr. Briscoe. “If you’re going to wear them, don’t wear them all day.” To help prevent lower back pain, Dr. Briscoe suggests packing a second pair of shoes to wear during your lunch break and workday commute.
These tips can help you get started today but the long-term results are up to you. When a busy day turns into a busy week, month and year, remember that you’re the only one who can maintain your spine health and overall wellness. If severe neck or back pain is keeping you from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and daily routine, reach out to our team at Laser Spine Institute today.