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Show Your Back Some Love

Looking After Your Spinal Health

It's February, and that means love is in the air! What better time than now to give your most supportive joints and muscles some TLC? The orthopedic specialists at Methodist Sports Medicine are here to provide some tips to help keep your spinal health in top condition, leaving you pain-free.

Stop Slouching

Whether you’re sitting at your desk or standing on your feet all day—we’re all guilty of slouching from time to time. While it may feel more comfortable at the moment, having poor posture places additional stress on the lumbar facets, discs, and muscles in your back.


In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with bad posture can be reversed by improving your posture. In more severe cases, this added stress can lead to injury and chronic pain.

Tips for Better Posture

Try to “Stand Tall”

When walking or in a standing position, it is essential that you keep your spine in a natural alignment to avoid musculoskeletal strain. To make sure you’re keeping your vertebrae aligned, you should keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your head should be positioned upright above your spine.

Reposition and Readjust Your Posture Often

Many of us spend the day sitting at a desk, which can make it easy to slip into bad postural habits. To keep yourself from bending into more comfortable positions, get up from your seat frequently throughout your day to stretch and reset, allowing you to return to your spine’s natural alignment.

Lift Carefully & Properly

Many people make the mistake of lifting heavy objects with the backs, leading to injury. When it comes to lifting, be sure to lift and bend from the knees, keeping your back erect. It is also advised that you keep the heavy object as close to you as possible as you stand back up.

Support Your Spine in Your Sleep

On average, people spend about ⅓ of their time laying in bed or sleeping. With that much time spent in bed, it’s important that you support your head and neck with a good-quality mattress.


Although the type of mattress that makes you feel the most comfortable is subjective, research suggests that a medium-firm to firm mattresses are better for your back than very firm or very soft mattresses.

Incorporate Core-Strengthening Exercises into Your Routine

Strengthening your supportive muscles in your back and abdomen can help to decrease the strain placed on the joints found in your back. When these muscles are developed, it helps to minimize the strain placed on your joints themselves.


Some muscle groups to focus on include:

  • Core muscles (included abdominal and oblique muscles)
  • Back paraspinal muscles
  • Diaphragm
  • Pelvic floor

Although there are plenty of exercises that can target these muscle groups, it is important that you consult with your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to do them if you have an existing condition affecting your spine.

Stretch Regularly

When you spend a lot of time in a stationary position—whether that’s sitting, standing, or lying down—the muscles in your neck and back can become stiff and tense, which can lead to discomfort. When you incorporate stretching into your routine, you can help to treat and effectively prevent this pain from developing.


Come of the many benefit of stretching regularly include:

  • Reduce the risk of injury
  • Increased spinal flexibility
  • Increased range of motion
  • Reduced tension in supportive muscles

Yoga Poses to Alleviate & Prevent Back Pain

While many people find themselves plagued with persistent joint pain, they tend to push through them to get through their daily routines. With spinal discomfort, it’s much harder to ignore. Fortunately, there are plenty of yoga stretches that can help to give you some relief and get you back to your routine, pain-free.


Some excellent poses to help alleviate back pain include:

  • Cobra pose
  • Puppy pose
  • Cat-cow
  • Downward facing dog
  • Sphinx pose
  • Locust pose
  • Bridge
  • Child’s pose

If you have chronic back or neck pain, talk to your doctor to find out what stretches are right for you and your condition.

Sports Medicine in Dallas and Fort Worth

If you have sustained a sports injury, or you want to improve your overall athletic ability, Methodist Sports Medicine can help. See our full list of services or contact us for an appointment today.