by Kim White

1.) Avoid leaning your head forward
In this world of electronics, you really need to limit your screen time and be conscious of your posture. Get up often from your desk, even just to move your body for a few seconds. To prevent forward head carriage, make sure to drink a lot of water; it makes you get up often from your desk. Also, be sure to stretch out your chest for at least one minute at a time. The doorway stretch consists of hands on outside of doorway, biceps parallel to floor while pushing through with one leg forward while opening up those chest muscles.

2.) Eat lots of greens
Oxidative stress is one of the major contributors to the aging process. So be sure to eat lots of green plants. They’re loaded with antioxidants to combat oxidative stress. The leafier the greens are, the better they are for you.

3.) Keep your spinal discs hydrated
Each day you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. For example: If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces every day. Also, smoking and being overweight are major contributors to disc degeneration. Lastly, avoid long periods of sitting. Walking around the block and moving during commercial breaks are small ways to implement change.

4.) Stay flexible, or get there
Stretching out your back, legs and hips can help you gain more flexibility, which in turn leads to more functional spinal movement. Massage and yoga are very helpful in opening up your muscles.

5.) Strengthen your core
Most fitness trainers and medical professionals will agree that strengthening the core is important. Why? Because your core provides stability to your spine. Stability in your spine means you would be less likely to have your “back go out” on you or to have a disc bulge. My favorite exercises for spinal stability are “Quadruped/Bird-Dog,” “Dead Bug,” and any single leg balancing exercises. You could look any of these up online or ask your chiropractor or physical therapist for exercises that would be appropriate for you.

Kim White, DC, owns Intelligent Balance Spinal Care which specializes in upper cervical chiropractic care. The office is located at 2310 N. Molter Rd. Ste. 108, in Liberty Lake. For more information, call 509-924-4443 or visit IntelligentBalance.com.