We all know it’s important to eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise, etc. Our bodies are temples, we are what we eat, and so on and so forth. For the most part, it’s not lack of knowledge that lead to making unhealthy decisions. It’s the temptation, the idea of not wheezing on a treadmill, or the thought of just how delicious your Wendy’s fries taste when dipped into a Frosty … after a spicy chicken sandwich. The point is finding a way to make healthy decisions in spite of our non-self control. Right?
But did you know it’s more than just the body that needs attention? Sometimes it’s specific parts of the body, such as the back. Depending on one’s sleeping patterns, you might get anywhere between four and nine hours of sleep per night. More for children or when under the weather. That’s a long time to spend in a horizontal position, especially when relying on the back for support. Sleeping on one’s side or stomach also requires a great deal of work for the back – just because it’s not mattress-side-down doesn’t mean it isn’t working overtime.
During that sleeping time, the back holds most of your body weight, steadies and relaxes the muscles, and is trying to get some resting of its own. After all, it’s not doing any less work when upright, its duties are just rotated.
To keep your back in its best shape possible, consider getting plenty of back-specific movement throughout the day. These stretches and core training exercise will help alleviate some of the back’s constraints without adding pain or stress to its surrounding muscles.
This can be done by:
- Exercising (swimming, biking, walking, jogging, yoga, etc.)
- Regular movement, especially when working behind a desk
- Avoiding sitting or standing for too long
- Wearing proper shoes
Additionally, you can check in with a chiropractor or physical therapist to see that your back is properly aligned. Over time, bones can be jarred out of place, even without a significant injury. This may not be for everyone, but is a quick and simply way to ensure your spine is located in correct working order.
Another aspect of taking care of your back takes place when sleeping or relaxing. By ensuring your spine has the support it needs, you can work to eliminate pain or other stress-related problems. When aligned improperly or put under too much pressure, the back can cause pain or sections of tense muscles, which often happens gradually. But by keeping excess weight or strain off of one’s back, you can greatly increase your back’s health and comfort levels.
Start by evaluating your current mattress. It may be time for a new one, or just a slight boost, such as a pad or back wedge for added support. Pillows can also be checked to make sure they are propping the neck in a comfortable position. Then, look to sitting chairs or couches. If outdated, these furniture items can add a great deal of support issues to the back – most often without the sitter even knowing anything was wrong.
Furniture should be replaced if:
- It sags
- Is more than 10 years old
- Has permanent impressions
- Causes pains or sore mussels
- Is visibly worn, such as tears or lost stuffing
- Isn’t comfortable
- Is too firm or too soft
By taking care of these matters before they even arise, people of all ages and sizes can tackle their back health head on. All it takes is a little prep work, and the knowledge to take the right steps toward better daily decisions.
To find out more about mattress and pillow options, head to our products page.