A New Year is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about the resolutions we will make next year to improve our lives. Maybe you plan to get in shape or to give up a bad habit. Whatever you decide, the New Year is the perfect time to make a change for the better. If you’re suffering from neck and back pain, you can make a few simple changes in your lifestyle to help decrease or alleviate your pain. Here are some recommendations from the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center to start off your New Year with a healthier neck and back:
Get More Exercise
This is probably the most common New Year’s resolution, but it is a great one. Exercise improves your health in so many ways, not the least of which is the health of your spine. One major cause of neck and back pain is weakness in the “core” muscles that support the spine. These muscles are small and not as strong as larger muscles, which is why they are so prone to injuries. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent injuries, and it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment.
Some of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core won’t cost you a thing. Sit-ups, crunches and pushups don’t require any kind of equipment and they will go a long way towards improving your core strength.
Other options for improving your core strength include stretching and yoga. Not only will these activities beef up your core muscles, but they will also improve your flexibility, meaning you will be less susceptible to injuries in the first place.
This is another common New Year’s resolution that can work wonders for the health of your spine, as well as your overall health. Smoking affects your body in a number of negative ways, and putting down the cigarettes will put you in a position to spend next year free of neck and back pain.
One major way in which smoking can lead to neck and back pain is by restricting the blood vessels, cutting off the blood supply to your cells. In order to stay healthy and heal quickly, your cells need a steady supply of oxygen and other materials, which they extract from the bloodstream. Without this vital blood supply, your cells become unable to repair themselves and will eventually die off.
When you quit tobacco, your blood flow is restored and your cells become healthier. This means that when you do sustain an injury to your back or neck, you will heal more quickly and you will bounce back more easily.
Of course, quitting smoking may be easier said than done. If this is one of your resolutions, please consult a physician who can recommend some options that will make it safer and easier for you to quit tobacco. It may be that a smoking cessation program will work for you, or you may even need a prescription to lessen your desire for cigarettes. Whatever the case may be, quitting smoking now will ensure you have a new year free from neck and back pain!