Your Back in Action on World Spine Day
In approximately one month, people around the world will recognize World Spine Day. It has been celebrated on October 16th since 2012. World Spine Day is an opportunity to promote spinal health and raise awareness of spinal disorders. Spinal disorders are amongst the leading causes of disability in the world. When people cannot move or get around properly, their quality of life is impacted. Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain can prevent someone from going to school, from working or even doing simple daily activities. Sleep, productivity, social life and mental health can be impacted.
Below are a few examples of how spinal pain and disorders affect the people of all demographics:
- Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, particularly affecting agriculture, forestry and fishing, health and social care, and construction industries.
- Half of all women during pregnancy will experience back pain.
- One-third of those with back pain say it affects their ability to sleep and results in millions of drug prescriptions every year.
- 32-82% of those with chronic back pain also show symptoms of depression.
This year’s World Spine Day theme is Your Back in Action! It emphasizes the importance of healthy spinal posture and activity which promotes body awareness and minimizes the day-to-day wear and tear on a person.
Research has shown that poor posture and inactivity are major players in the development of spine pain and other spinal disorders. According to the World Health Organization, one in four adults is not active enough and over 80% of the adolescent population is not active enough. There are many ways to take care of your spine and keep your back in action.
5 Ways to Keep Your Back in Action:
- Maintain Good Posture
What is good posture? Good posture means maintaining the three natural curves in your spine. We all have two concave curves, one from the base of our skull to the base of our neck and one from our low back to our tailbone. In our mid-back, between those two concave curves, we have a convex curve. When we maintain our curves, our back can hold itself up with little effort. Our spine and core muscles are engaged but they are not overworking. On the other hand, if our posture is slouched, we put compression on our spine and stress on our lungs and stomach. Good posture isn’t only for sitting and standing. When lifting heavy objects, practice safe lifting techniques. Keep your back straight (with your curves maintained), bend your knees and use your leg muscles to lift.
- Exercise and Move
We know that there are many benefits to physical activity and to living an active lifestyle. Engaging in exercise and fitness activities helps keep our spine healthy. Most of us sit too much at work and at school. We don’t take enough movement breaks. We leave work feeling tired and stiff. That stiffness combined with stress and chronic poor posture can lead to pain. Small amounts of movement throughout the day can make a big difference. Set yourself a reminder every hour to stand up from your desk and move, even if it’s only for 20 seconds. Walk or bike to work if you can. Spend your evenings as well as your weekends being active with family and friends. Your spine will thank you.
- Stay Hydrated
Our spine benefits from a proper hydration as much as the rest of our body. Staying well-hydrated keeps the discs of our spine cushiony so they can do their job. The spine is designed in such a way that dehydration can cause limited mobility, decreased flexibility, and pain. Like your movement reminder set yourself a reminder to drink water throughout the day. Water is the best way to hydrate the body, but it isn’t the only way. Foods like watermelon, lettuce, spinach, and soups are great sources of hydration too!
- Sleep Well
A good night’s sleep is often exactly what the mind and body need. Restful sleep allows our body to recover and heal. But if you are waking up sore and stiff, you may want to check in on your mattress, your pillow, and your sleep position. A mattress that is comfortable and supports your body well is the right one for you. There are many options when it comes to pillows. There is no one pillow best suited to every single person. Check out these four criteria (LINK) to consider when choosing a pillow. As for sleep position, on your back or on your side is best for your spine. Sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your low back and a lot of torsion in your neck.
- Visit Your Chiropractor and Registered Massage Therapist
Our team at Byward Chiropractic Clinic and Massage Therapy Centre is here to help you keep your back in action! Whether you need to address a specific issue, relieve pain, soreness or injury, or simply to relax, we offer services to accommodate everyone.
Take time to take care of your spine so that you can keep Your Back in Action!