25 Oct Benefits of a Healthy Spine
Spines – we all have one but too many of us don’t make a conscious effort to maintain good spinal health. Which is silly when you think about it – your spine is the key to holding your entire body together.
It controls your movement and your ability to send and receive messages from the brain and when not cared for properly, has the potential to put you in a whole world of hurt. You probably go to the doctors regularly to maintain good health but what about your spine?
Love your spine – why it’s so important
So why is it so important to care for your spine? Aside from the fact that a healthy spine can greatly reduce your chances of pain and injury, there are numerous other reasons that taking care of your spine is so important:
- Your spine controls mobility movements such as bending and twisting. When not taking proper care of your spine (either through poor movement or poor posture) everyday tasks such as sitting, turning, bending and twisting can seem almost impossible due to pain
- Poor posture can result in curve reversal pain which is caused by “reversing” the curve in your spine (for example: bending to standing) and can range from a minor tick to more severe spasms and aches
- Incorrect postural patterns can lead to the shortening of structures in your body, further encouraging abnormal postures
- Prolonged poor posture, abnormal movements and untreated spinal injuries may lead to degenerative spinal disorders which can permanently damage your spine
- An unhealthy spine can substantially decrease your quality of life by stopping you doing activities that were once enjoyable
How to maintain a healthy spine – pain & injury prevention
The best way to prevent pain and injury is to ensure you’re always practicing good posture. Good posture is all about retraining your body to minimise mobility or weight strain – from lying and sitting to standing, walking and running. This can reduce abnormal wearing of the joint surface, maintain bones and joint alignment and can decrease unnecessary stress on your ligaments – facilitating injury prevention and allowing you to move more freely! So how can you practice good posture? Here are some of our top tips to get you started:
Stance: stand up straight and tall with weight distributed evenly between each foot
- Prolonged standing: pull your shoulders back and down, and squeeze in your tummy to achieve a stronger core
- Bending & lifting: when bending and lifting, try to stretch beforehand and ensure you are bending through the hips with a wide base and a slight lordosis in the back
- Uphill: rather than leaning forward (as might be instinctual), place your arm behind your back and walk tall
- Positioning: sit up straight with your shoulders pulled and your back flush with the chair
- Relax: ensure your neck and shoulders are straight (in alignment with your spine) and are not tense
- Breaks: remember to take regular breaks to loosen your muscles and avoid tension
- Crossing legs: make sure to alternate which leg you are crossing to avoid incorrect spinal curvature
- Back support: to effectively maintain your natural lumbar curve, using a physiotherapy-based back support can be extremely useful, especially when sitting for long periods at a time. A product such as the Comfyback Deluxe can greatly assist in preventing pain from poor posture by reminding you where your shoulders should be positioned
For more detailed information on correct postural positions, visit our website (link to page).
Loving your spine post-surgery
Spinal surgery patients have very specific needs in terms of comfort and pain reduction. As much as possible, your physiotherapist will monitor your progress and teach you how to manage future problems through prevention and maintenance methods, however they can’t always be there to keep on your back about it (quite literally). One of the best tools to facilitate this process is the Comfyback Deluxe which has been purposefully designed to imitate the natural curves of a healthy spine – providing full support and decreased pain and poor posture. As it is designed for everyday use, the Comfyback Deluxe can be utilised well after recovery is complete – at home, in the car or office and pretty much anywhere else your back needs full support.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Comfyback range or spinal health in general, contact us today.