Did you know that your spine's health affects the rest of your body? It's true! A mobile spine means a healthy body, and vice versa. That's why protecting your spine from injury and damage is so important. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
First, What's the Importance of Protecting Your Spine?
The spine is essential for overall health and well-being. Here are three reasons why it's crucial to protect your spine:
- The spine is critical for broad movement.
- The spine helps protect the spinal cord, which is responsible for sending messages between the brain and the body.
- The spine helps protect the body from injury.
When you protect your spine, you're safeguarding your overall health. Make sure to use proper posture and exercise caution when participating in physical activities to protect your spine.
What are Common Types of Spinal Injury?
There are several types of spinal injuries that you should avoid. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Herniated discs. It can occur when the discs between the vertebrae rupture or bulge.
- Spinal stenosis. It is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the spinal cord.
- Fractures. A fracture occurs anywhere along the spine and can be very dangerous.
- Whiplash. This neck injury can occur when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward.
It's essential to be aware of these injuries and take steps to protect yourself from them. If you're unsure how to participate in an activity safely, ask a doctor or physical therapist for advice.
Tips for Preventing Spinal Injuries
Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your daily routine. A healthy and supportive musculature is key to a stable spine. Activities that build your core include:
- Low-impact Exercise. Walking, for example, can help increase blood flow to the spine and stretch your muscles. Blood flow is essential for producing healing nutrients and moisture in your lower back structures.
- Water Exercise. The warmth and buoyancy of water make it an ideal environment for those with back pain who want to regain a greater range of motion. The supportive effect of water also allows people to gradually increase their level of activity as tolerated, which is essential for long-term success.
- Ball Exercise. To maintain your core strength, we recommend doing activities that exercise your core muscles for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time (such as sitting on the ball occasionally for around 20 to 30 minutes and using the ball for exercises that target your core muscles).
Invest in an office chair with good ergonomics. You can support the natural curve in your lower spine by:
- Using an ergonomic chair that supports your back and thighs properly
- For additional support, place a small rolled-up towel in the small of your back.
- If possible, use a standup desk for part of the day.
An excellent hack to help you improve your posture, take regular walks, and stretch your lower back and leg muscles is setting a timer for every 50 minutes on your phone.
While lifting, keep your back safe. Lifting is a typical cause of lower back discomfort. Loading groceries into the car or lifting your young child can result in lower back problems. Lifting with your back bent or twisting may cause a sudden injury to your lower back, leading to chronic tissue damage from repetitive injuries over time. To avoid a lower back injury, follow these lifting rules:
- Rather than bending at your lower back, which can lead to injuries, bend your legs at the knees instead.
- Rather than contorting your spine, twist at the hips and pivot your feet.
- Holding the object close to your chest while straightening your spine.
Give your back a break after being hunched over for too long. When you hunch over for an extended duration like when weeding your garden, certain metamorphoses happen to your discs and ligaments. These changes last for several minutes, during which time the stability of your spine is lessened. The joints also become briefly rigid during this timespan.
After sitting or stooping, standing up and stretching for a bit is best so your back can have time to recover before doing anything too strenuous.
NewSouth NeuroSpine Encourages Spine Protection
At NewSouth NeuroSpine, we believe that keeping your spine protected is an integral part of keeping our patients from injury or re-injury. We hope this article provided some helpful preventive tips on how you can protect your spine from any real injury.
If you are dealing with chronic back pain, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.