Exercise Nutrition Exercise

It is common knowledge that Exercise and Nutrition are key ingredients to health and wellbeing in general. It can also help with spinal health alongside regular maintenance. Let me explain…..

We now understand eating a nutritionally poor diet and living a sedentary lifestyle, over time, can impact on your future wellbeing. The same can be said about the spine. Degeneration of the vertebrae and other joints over time is normal, however may accelerate if misalignments and dysfunction are allowed to carry on unchecked.

To support the spine’s growth in children, along with regeneration, strength and stamina in everybody, we need good nutrition. A back friendly diet needs to be rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 etc. Supplementing one’s diet with the likes of fish oil, glucosamine and a good quality multi vitamin, as well as a balanced diet high in vegetables is a good way to ensure we get everything our body needs.

Hydration is also very important. There is a link between hydration and disc volume. It is suggested that not drinking enough water can lead to the intervertebral discs (which act as a cushion between the spinal bones) shrinking and become less spongy. This may then lead to problems such as chronic low back pain caused by compression of the nerves exiting the spinal cord.

Exercise is another key area for musculoskeletal health. The mechanical forces in exercising helps build strength to both muscles and bones. As the saying goes “If you don’t use it you lose it”. We all understand that exercise leads to muscle strength, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that exercise is also key to bone health. Our bodies are repairing and rebuilding all the time and the bones need forces acting upon them to lay down the foundations that make them strong. The mechanical forces involved in exercise even if it’s just light exercise like walking helps bones maintain strength.

I recently heard of a study about to be published by a leading researcher called Daniel Belavy from the Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition which is to do with physical activity and disc health. Something to look forward to.

Maintaining spinal alignment and function is also important. The job of the spine is to protect the nervous system, however if the spine in the process of protecting the nervous system loses some of its integrity, and becomes misaligned or fixated (stuck) then it can interfere with nervous system function. When this happens the body’s way of telling you something is wrong with the spine is through pain like back pain, sciatica, stiffness or even headaches. It is important for a healthy spine and nervous system to keep the spine aligned and moving not only to reduce pain and discomfort but to help it resist the eventual wear and tear of aging.

In summary, think about hydration, eating a nutritious diet, and taking regular exercise to maintain a healthy body and spine but also think about looking after your skeletal system by making sure it is aligned and functions as it is designed to do.

If you want to discuss this further please leave a comment, or come and see us:

Paul Parolin | Harmony Chiropractic Clinic | Tel: 01986 784712 | info@harmonychiropractic.co.uk