Your spine, your health

There’s a lot resting on your spine. This complex network includes bones, disks and joints that protect your spinal cord. It also supports your head and shoulders and keeps you standing — or sitting — upright. Your spine also lets you bend down, back and side-to-side In short, you couldn’t do most of what you do during the day without all the parts of your spine functioning the way they should. For better spine and joint health consider the following:

  • Don’t bend or squat for long periods of time.
  • If you sit most of the day, change positions frequently.
  • Kneel only on soft surfaces.
  • When reaching overhead, keep your upper back straight.
  • Include stretching in your daily exercise.
  • Use a mirror during indoor exercise to keep an eye on your posture.
  • If you feel pain in a joint during exercise, reduce your weight, motion or both.
  • Vary your exercise routines to give joints a day of rest and recovery.
  • Consider aquatic exercise for joints that are stiff or damaged by arthritis.