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Just like your teeth, a healthy spine needs regular maintenance

im-spine-how-are-you-150x150Some things in life you know you just need to do on a regular basis to maintain your health.

Take the Dentist. Regular checkups and cleanings, in addition to regular oral hygiene at home, are key to keep your teeth for as long as possible. Drop the ball on this one and you will pay for it down the road.

That’s just what it takes to ensure a healthy mouth, especially given how much sugary and acidic food many of us consume that contribute to tooth decay. It’s our own habits, not the Dentist, that is driving the need for this schedule of care.

It’s no different than regular screenings for certain types of cancer after a certain age, or exercising regularly and eating healthy to reduce our risks of heart disease and diabetes.

What value do you put on your health?

These things all incur a commitment of time and most of the time money. They may also demand some fortitude and personal accountability, to reform the bad habits that not only erode quality of life, but shorten it, too. It’s up to the individual to decide what value they put on their health.

Taking care of your spinal health is no different. Patients often come to us because they are in pain. They have lost mobility, perhaps suffer from other secondary conditions, and are generally enjoying life less.

So, we take care of them. They feel better, they look better, they get more out of life again. But too often, we find ourselves having to explain that, just like the Dentist, or staying in shape, this is not a one-shot deal.

If you want to maintain that gain, you have to keep working at it. Maybe not as hard – maybe your program of care that began with three visits to our clinic a week can be reduced to one, or even one every other week. But to avoid regressing to your previous poor state, you do have to remain diligent and proactive.

Life is always putting stress on your spine

Why? Because odds are, the habits that led to the problem that brought you to us are still with you.

For example:

Long hours at a desk or spent over a keyboard or mobile device.
Doing this for hours, day after day, especially with poor, hunched over posture, is a leading cause of neck pain and other related conditions. We often find the underlying result is a loss of the neck’s natural curve, which can lead to arthritic degeneration of the vertebrae and degeneration of the discs in between your vertebrae.

If you continue to spend those hours in front of a screen without regular adjustments, the progress you made with us can be lost over time. We’ve seen it time and again with patients.

Lack of exercise. We all need a regular routine of exercise that includes cardio for heart health and weight training to keep us strong. Strong, toned muscles are important to maintaining a healthy spine.

How often are you hitting the gym? And if you are, do you know how to exercise these muscles, safely and effectively?

Lack of stretching. Taking the time to stretch and work out the knots can offset the degenerative effects of hours a day of poor posture. Problem is, few of us take the time. Do you?

Excessive weight. We appreciate this can be a delicate subject for some people, but the simple fact is, the heavier you are, the more strain you are putting on your body. But even if weight loss is a challenge, regularly stretching and working to build strength can still make a big difference. You can condition your body to be more capable of carrying that extra weight without suffering as severe a negative effect. And, odds are, the effort will help you shed a few pounds.

Maintaining any aspect of your health takes regular effort

All four of these factors contribute to the issues that bring people through our door. And they most definitely will lead these issues to reoccur without a regular schedule of visits. It’s no different than the Dentist and your teeth.

Given the choice, we’d rather lose some teeth than face middle age and our retirement years with chronic neck and back problems. The former is an annoyance, the latter is life changing. Allow structural issues with your spine to go unchecked long enough and the damage (and the pain) will be irreversible.

So, if you wonder for how long you have to keep visiting a Chiropractor, ask yourself another question: For how long do you want to stay healthy, mobile, and independent?

Give us a call today!

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