The adult human spine is a column of 26 bones, 24 vertebrae, cartilage, the sacrum and the coccyx. Your spine protects your spinal cord which is the column of nerve fibers responsible for sending and receiving the messages from our brains. Not to mention it keeps you upright and allows you to perform your daily tasks. AKA: the spine is a pretty freakin’ big deal.
Do you have back pain? Learn to take care of your spine the best you can. Don’t have back pain? Great! Learn to take care of your spine the best you can. Regardless of who you are it is absolutely critical to take care of your spine. Not sure how? First, if you do have pain make sure to consult a medical doctor. Here are a few starting points:
1. Eat Your Way to A Healthy Back
Fuel your body with lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of fresh veggies, and some fruit. Not only will your joints and bones get the minerals and vitamins they need, but your waistline will thank you too. A big belly or muscular imbalance/weakness can cause back pain.
2. BREATHE Already
Deep belly breathing allows your spinal nerves to move within their spinal channels. Ujjayi breathing, skull brightener breath, lion’s breath, upside down breath… there are all sorts of breathing techniques. Play with a couple of ways of breathing and see what feels good to you. Deep breathing in general can act like an internal massage, slow the breath, engage the abdominal muscles, and increase your intake of oxygen which builds pressure in the abdomen, therefore supporting the spine.
3. Conquer Your Core
Speaking of the abdomen… it’s probably time to build it. Your core (different than just “abs”) consists of the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, mutifidus, obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, gluteus maximus, etc. Think of it this way: your core is the
foundation to your house and abs are the shingles/siding. They are beautiful and the finishing touches… but without the foundation they are useless. The stronger the core, the less the spine has to work over-time and instead it can focus on it’s job of keepin you up-right and pain free!