October is such a special month!
Next week, October 16th, is National Spine Day! So on top of October being National Chiropractic Health Month we have a special day dedicated to bringing awareness to spine health and disorders around the world. Last week we chatted about how 80% of the population will experience some kind of back pain or strain. Fortunately, there were some tips for that. But there are also some tips not only for your muscles but for your bones and joints in your spine as well. They definitely intertwine because we want whole back health for this month. 🙂
First, what makes up the spine? It has 33 small bones called vertebrae. The neck has 7 vertebrae (cervical), 12 in the upper and mid-back (thoracic), and 5 in the low back (lumbar).The rest are the pelvic region (sacral) which ends at your bottom.
As we cited last week, inactivity can be one of the biggest stresses on the spine. Of course, how you position yourself while doing your everyday activities can also make a big difference. In order to prevent injuries and stress on the spine here are some great tips from the American Chiropractic Association :
When standing “keep one foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent… Keep your head level. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders… Shift your weight from your toes to heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.”
Just like with your back muscles, take care while lifting. It is so important to avoid, at all costs, twisting while lifting. This hurts both your spine and your back muscles. When the item is too heavy (check by kicking it), see if you could possibly push it instead of lift. Or you can another person to help you lift it. Always use your legs and not your back.
It is the same with reaching and bending. Avoid reaching for heavy objects. ACA suggests “when reaching for something about shoulder level, stand on a stool… Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or table. Instead, bend down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up. Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body.” Remember, lift with your legs.
We’ll discuss more next week!