To Your Health
January, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 01)
In the case of nonsurgical spine ailments, the most qualified health care provider is the doctor of chiropractic or "chiropractor," as they are sometimes called.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained in an eight-year program of undergraduate and professional college study that includes a clinical internship. Their clinical and educational focus is specifically oriented toward spine-related ailments. The profession has elected to remain a nondrug, nonsurgical approach to dealing with spinal ailments.
Maintaining Good Spinal Health
As with all parts of your body, there are things you can do to maintain a healthy spine. Here are four of the best:
Nutritional Supplements - Vitamins, minerals and herbs can provide the essential nutrition needed for your diet and lifestyle. Proper nutrition is essential, particularly for women and seniors. Your doctor can help you decide your body's supplemental requirements.
Posture - How you sit, stand, walk and sleep does matter. You train the muscles that ultimately impact your musculoskeletal system. Correct posture enables your body to function more effectively and more efficiently. Being aware of your posture can improve your spinal health and make you more attractive.
Flexibility - Your body develops under the law of demand and supply. Whatever you demand from your body, the body will develop to supply. If you run a mile a day, your body will strengthen muscles, lengthen tendons and enhance your air intake so the run will become easier and faster. You should take time each day to flex your spine in all four directions: forward, backward, side-to-side and twisting both ways. By doing so, you will maintain the movement of each vertebra. This also is a good way to determine if you have a loss of spinal function.
Spinal Checkups - Just like your teeth, your spine needs to be examined to determine if spinal dysfunction is present, particularly after stressful events, accidents or overworking the spine and musculature. Seniors, active adults and growing children should be examined at least quarterly. Doctors of chiropractic can perform spinal examinations quickly to determine any malfunction of the spine.
Quality of life is defined as your ability to do the things that make life a joy to live. Proper spinal function affects everything your body does. As you can see, there are a number of things you can do to help maintain good spinal hygiene.
When you do experience pain, recognize that your body is communicating a problem and address that problem immediately. Just as your teeth need regular brushing and a regular appointment with your dentist, your spine needs good nutrition, posture, flexibility and a periodic spinal checkup. It's the way to your highest quality of life.
Donald Petersen Jr. is the president and publisher of MPA Media, which produces To Your Health and a variety of other media resources on natural health and wellness, including trade publications for the chiropractic and acupuncture professions.