The Upright Truth: How a Healthy Spine Supports Overall Wellness

The importance of the human spine to overall health begins with a flexible support structure and extends to every nerve in the body. Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine offers services from experienced specialists to keep your spine – and the rest of you – in healthy balance.

Whether you sit focused at a computer screen all day, or if your work is physical, taking care of your spinal health ensures all of your systems are well supported and protected. There are many helpful steps you can take to keep your spine limber and strong.

Why Is the Back Important to Health ?

Keeping the body upright and balanced, supporting our heavy heads, and protecting the central nervous system are the primary functions of the spinal column. It provides the flexibility to twist and bend as well as anchors the structures of the arms and legs to the body center.

When the spine is strained, injured, or misaligned, the other systems that anchor to it must adjust. Shoulders, hips, knees, and feet all might show the strain of spine health problems. If the spinal cord or the network of nerves connected to it are pinched or constricted, nerve pain that radiates down the leg, arm, or up the neck might occur.

Take Care of Your Spine and It Will Take Care of You

These daily habits will keep your spine healthy:

  • Stand Solidly

Practice standing with your feet slightly apart. Roll your shoulders back and keep your chin level. Relax your shoulders and jaw.

  • Sit Straighter

Sit back in your chair until the base of your spine touches. With your feet flat, pull your chest up and shoulders back, straightening your spine.

  • Sleep Sideways

Try not to lay on your stomach for long periods of time. On your side is an ideal sleeping posture. Pillows should be just thick enough to align your head to your spine.

  • Exercise Easily

Warming up your muscles before exercise and building up muscle strength gradually will protect your spine and joints from injury later. Yoga and massage can improve balance and relieve muscle spasms.

  • Lift Low

With the load in front of you, bend to a squatting position, pick up the object, then lift yourself up with your legs. Don't twist or bend over. Put it down the same way.

  • Shop Shoes

Good shoes support your healthy spine and help you keep your footing. Make sure they are non-skid and are snug enough in the heel to prevent rolling the foot to either side. They should have good arch support and allow your toes to spread out naturally.

Another Vital Support System

The spine specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care offer the best options to bring your spine back to peak health and keep it there. Starting with non-invasive treatments like holistic spine treatment and a variety of physical therapy solutions, as well as performing minimally invasive surgery when necessary, our balanced interdisciplinary team brings the most innovative approaches to treatment.

The esteemed physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine include experts in primary care as well as a diverse range of specialties, from cardiology to endocrinology and diabetes to reproductive medicine to vascular surgery. Our doctors are faculty members of Weill Cornell Medical College, among the top-ranked clinical and medical research centers in the country; they are also attending physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, one of the most comprehensive care facilities in the world. Please use our contact us page to schedule an appointment with a provider (new and existing patients), access your medical records, contact your physician, or with billing, technical, or general questions.

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