5 Resolutions for a Healthy Spine in the New Year

New Year
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions as a way to improve ourselves with the fresh start of a new year. If you suffer from back pain, or if you want to do everything you can to prevent it, make these resolutions for a healthy back in 2015:
1. Get moving. Movement is a natural stimulus for the healing process. Through controlled, gradual exercise, you can reduce long-term back pain and prevent, or lessen, future recurrences of pain.
2. Commit to a regular, safe exercise routine. Exercising strengthens and repairs muscles that support the spine. Strengthening the back prevents injury to the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) and supports the structures of your spine.
3. If you are overweight, try to shed excess pounds. Being overweight contributes to back pain. Simply carrying the excess weigh can stress your spine and cause pain.
4. If you smoke, commit to breaking this unhealthy habit. This risk may come as a surprise to some people, but smoking can cause back pain. Your body may not be able to get enough nutrients to the disks in your back, and people who smoke are slow to heal, making pain last longer.
5. Upgrade to a back-friendly mattress, and shop at a dedicated mattress store. Even though you may find your favorite brands at furniture or big box stores, you might not get the same level of service when shopping for a mattress. Salespeople at mattress specialty stores usually have training on sleep comfort as well as the various products they carry. They will be able to help you choose the right mattress for you.