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5 Ways Everyone in Springfield, Illinois Keeps Their Spine Healthy and Happy

It takes daily effort to keep ourselves healthy and happy, not to mention our family, and now we also have to worry about our spines! How is a person supposed to know what their spine is saying? Surely, it doesn’t talk. I’ve never heard the faintest whisper or sigh.

As a chiropractor for pain relief in Springfield, Illinois, I know that even though my spine can’t speak any of the human languages, it’s talking to me. It screams, it coos, it even giggles. Keeping our spines healthy and happy can no longer be an afterthought or that thing we’ll get to once we finish the hundred other things we have to do today. The robust, vibrant health of our spine should be at the very top of the list.


Of course! What a perfect segue!

Our brain controls every aspect of our body, from the largest organ to the most complex system to the teeny tiniest cell. It does this by sending messages through our spinal cord and out to the vast nerve network. If an organ or cell doesn’t receive these messages it can’t function properly and begins to break down and develop disease.

In addition to defying gravity and keeping us upright, our spine houses and protects the spinal cord as those invaluable communications travel through it. It is designed with the right amount of curves at the right angles to fulfill this role perfectly.

And then we’re born and chaos ensues.

Life throws a lot at us, it’s got a great arm. Through trauma, poor posture, and repetitive action our spine loses that perfect structure and begins to impede upon the nerves. Misalignments in the spine cut off or completely block the nerve communications between the body and the brain.


On top of that our muscles must compensate for the loss of healthy structure – they become weak where they should be strong, tight where they should be loose. We start to feel muscle tension, lower back pain, and neck pain which can produce headaches and migraines; we get joint disorders in our knees, shoulders, and even jaw; and a variety of bodily functions we normally took for granted stop working. It’s a chaotic nightmare.

Many people, not knowing that their issues are stemming from the obstruction of their nervous system or pressure on their spine, resign themselves to chronic pain and try to cover it up with a slew of pain medications and their co-conspiring side effects. All of this can and must be avoided.


Here are five ways we can keep our spine healthy and happy…maybe we’ll even get to hear it giggle.

1. When We Sleep, Our Spine Sleeps

Sleep is so critical to our overall health, it’s probably why my mother’s response to every tiny malady I’m facing is, “you need to get more sleep.” In high school, I used to find it irrationally annoying and now I realize she was right. She always is.

When we sleep, our body takes that time to heal. Even if we’re not sick our body is repairing itself, processing new information it acquired while we were awake, and preparing us to be a fully functioning member of society when we wake up.


Our spine is no exception. When we finally pull ourselves away from the Nick at Nite Friends marathon and lay our heads down, we’re also giving our spine the chance to rest and rejuvenate. And Lord knows it needs it. We put our spine through so much every day, it’s a miracle it hasn’t already snapped in half.

It all starts with the right mattress. Mattresses are usually thought of as luxury purchases, mattress purveyors tell us to get a new mattress every eight years. Most of us scoff at that, seeing it as a scam to keep them in business, but I think we should be thinking about it as a health care decision.


We need to utilize those mattress “experts” and find a mattress that supports our unique spine and our unique sleeping position – whether we sleep on our side or on our back, never on our stomachs. We can also use pillows that support our cervical curve, that’s the fancy way us chiropractors refer to the neck. Without a supportive sleep environment, our spine won’t get the rest it craves. It’ll wake up in the morning with a bad attitude and a lust for vengeance.

2. Strengthen the Core

The dreaded core. Everyone has been to an exercise class where the concerningly intense yet spunky coach, inevitably named Kirsten, is screaming at us to “engage the core!” As if we all know what “the core” means.


Well so do I, Nick! Not that I’m bragging or anything. It’s the part of our body that no one wants to focus on in the gym, but that is essential for stabilizing our spine and relieving the pressure on our lower back. Our abs and lower back muscles, our core, need to be strong, but we don’t use them nearly enough in our everyday routines. Specific, targeted exercises help to strengthen the core which, in turn, will help reduce back pain.

This isn’t just good for our beach bodies, it’s also good for our work, home, DMV, and piano recital bodies.

3. Limit the Time We Spend Sitting

Sitting is the new smoking. That’s not the first time I’ve said that and it won’t be the last. Sitting is one of those activities that we think is relaxing and harmless, but it’s creating a posture epidemic that is transforming the structure of our bodies leading to pain and a myriad of diseases and dysfunction.


When we sit, our spinal discs are more loaded than when we are standing. Not to mention, when we sit we’re typically hunched over a computer or a phone, slouched in the driver’s seat, on our 5th hour of Minecraft, or twisted on a chaise lounge being fanned by giant lily fronds, popping grapes, and gossiping about the latest revelation from Lady Whistledown.

We are engaged in a silent assault on our health. We’re changing the structure of our spine and putting stress on the lumbar discs in our lower back causing them to degenerate and bulge. This does not make our spine giggle.

We need to limit the time we spend sitting and follow ergonomic best practices when sitting to support our spine and be intentional about maintaining good posture.

4. Treat Ourselves to a Massage

Listen to the benefits of massage:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • Improved skin tone
  • Accelerated recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • Heightened mental alertness
  • Reduced anxiety and depression


A masseuse doesn’t have to assault our back for a massage to be worthwhile, though the stress-relief benefits of massage are better when someone is putting some effort into it and not just gently tapping. We traditionally associate massage with a resort spa or something that athletes and rich people get, but massage has some perspective-altering benefits that more people deserve access to. It’s not a luxury item, it’s a wellness necessity.

5. See a Chiropractor


There is no better way to keep the spine all smiles and giggles than entrusting it to the regular care of a chiropractor. Just ask any of our patients at the Springfield Wellness Center. The reason they keep coming back is because they know that our care sets them free from the cycles of pain and dysfunction that affect so many Americans.

Chiropractors are experts at correcting subluxations. We have the tools to identify where the spine is misaligned and a variety of modalities to care for each patient’s individual situation. Correcting subluxations through spinal adjustments will relieve muscle tension and restore proper function to the body. Plus it’ll make the spine so so so happy. Give us a call or schedule a time to meet with one of our amazing doctors and we’ll prove why chiropractic care is so important, not just for the spine and pain management but for our overall health.

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