Good posture is crucial to spinal health. Did you know October 16th is World Spine Day? It’s a day dedicated to raising awareness of back pain and other spinal issues. This year’s campaign theme is ‘Back on Track’. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, World Spine Day 2020 is about rejuvenating our bodies by getting out and focusing on spine care.
One of the easiest ways to repair and strengthen your back is by straightening up, literally. Here’s why..
Improves blood flow
Sitting or standing with proper alignment can dramatically improve blood circulation. The back area is made up of vessels and muscles that require the proper nutrients. Good posture opens up your spinal discs, allowing oxygen and other essentials to flow freely. Your circulatory system has the ability to carry waste products and carbon dioxide out of your veins. Keeping your back straight can help make this process more efficient, improving your overall health long-term.
Supports the muscles
Back muscles can only work properly when they’re in correct alignment. If you’re a constant sloucher, a vicious cycle can develop whereby poor posture will weaken core muscles over time. Inefficient muscles not only require more energy to move, but can also cause your body to become imbalanced. That’s because surrounding muscles must work harder to make up for weaker ones. This results in some muscles becoming shorter and tighter, while others are long and weak.
The best way to disrupt this cycle is by straightening your back, and strengthening the core muscles. A physiotherapist can show you effective exercises to develop back stability, prolonging the overall health of your spine.
Poor posture can put increasing pressure on the spinal discs. In addition to back pain, this can also cause numbness in the arms, hands and legs -- making your entire body feel weak and inefficient. Maintaining good posture can help prevent spinal cord compression. If you spend hours at a desk, invest in a high-quality chair that supports the natural curves of your back. Sleeping on a firm mattress can also keep your spine in proper alignment.
Spinal decompression therapy is another effective way to relieve pressure in the back. This non-surgical treatment uses a motorized traction table to stretch out the spine, allowing water, oxygen and vital nutrients to flow to the spinal discs. The gentle retraction of these gel-like cushions will not only alleviate tension, but also improve spinal alignment.
Redistributes excess stress
Here’s one important thing to know about your spine. It has a natural curve that’s built to support the weight of your body. But if you crumple yourself into a chair for 8 hours a day, your spine will become warped over time.
Good posture can redistribute excess stress, allowing your back to maintain its natural shape. When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor. And make sure your knees are at the same height or slightly lower than your hips.
Whether your chronic back pain stems from aging or poor posture, there are many steps you can take to protect your spinal health. Although World Spine Day is a global effort to raise awareness, you can take small actions every day to improve your back...and overall quality of life!
For more information on spine health or to book an assessment, contact us here.