Because chiropractic care works best when you participate in your own healing, there are a few things you can do at home to help speed recovery and keep your spine in tip-top shape. Chief among these are doing things to reduce inflammation and stay in motion. You may be inclined to say inflammation is out of your control or that you have limited ability to move, but you have more control than you think.
Adjustments reduce inflammation throughout the body, but there’s at least one thing you can start doing now. Take junk food off the menu. Avoiding fast foods, refined carbohydrates, processed meats, excess sugar, fried foods, and trans fats are a good rule of thumb for overall health anyway. Eliminating these things from your diet altogether is essentially an insurance policy. Your body will thank you for making the investment (or cost/sacrifice of not eating the foods you crave) as early as possible. A mindset change might be in order at first, if you feel like this means you can no longer eat any of the foods you love.
Of course, there are still plenty of foods you can enjoy, and lots of websites are dedicated specifically to anti-inflammation diets. You can start small by making an effort to add the following to your diet: berries, cherries, dark chocolate, avocado, tomato, broccoli, fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms, bell peppers, turmeric, and green tea. Also, some initial studies suggest adding vitamin D and magnesium supplements to your regimen may provide relief from chronic inflammation as well.
The next key to ensuring a great quality of life for longer is to stay in motion. A body in motion stays in motion. Immobilizing the spine for long periods of time can lead to chronic stiffness and limited range of motion. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and get a gym membership (or to run at all)! Nor should you train like an athlete or push yourself to your limits. Doing so may exacerbate injuries.
Instead, incorporate daily stretches and low-impact exercise into your routine. This may look like a walk around the neighborhood, tai chi, yoga, swimming, a series of stretches or a combination of these things. This sounds like really simple advice, but many people don’t actually get around to doing it. Set an alarm on your phone, enlist an accountability partner, or put a mark on your calendar for each day that you do it. As a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Dr. Reza can work with you on an exercise plan that factors in your body’s abilities and any injuries or inflammation you may currently have.
Eating an anti-inflammation diet and staying in motion are two pillars for longevity, but as always, your situation is unique and may need some personalization. If you have limitations, dietary restrictions, or underlying health issues, you’ll need to speak with your doctor before implementing anything new. Dr. Ghassemi at Reza Chiropractic in St. Petersburg looks forward to getting you on a path to feeling better that works with your needs and lifestyle. Call our office at 727-526-7700 or use our contact form to set up an appointment!