Keep moving to avoid and relieve back pain
Physical activity is vital for overall health, including for a healthy spine. Most people can avoid chronic back or neck pain by maintaining an active lifestyle and making a few simple posture changes.
But what if you’re already experiencing neck or back pain? Is it too late to make a change?
I often see patients who come in with sudden, severe neck and back pain. It often flares up unexpectedly, such as when performing household chores. These patients often worry that they’ve damaged their spines. But in the vast majority of cases, physical therapy and sometimes non-narcotic medication will provide neck and back pain relief.
Need a spine health check up? Schedule an visit with an orthopaedic specialist today!
Let’s take a look at how a healthy spine works and why physical therapy is so effective to help you recuperate from and prevent future back pain.
Supporting your spine
Maintaining a healthy spine depends upon strengthening the muscles that bear its weight. The muscles around your back (often called “core” muscles) take some of the load off the spine’s lumbar vertebrae. These five large bones provide a supporting frame for the spine, but they aren’t made to hold its weight.
People experience back pain when their core muscles are too weak to support the lumbar vertebrae. If these vertebrae and the joints surrounding them bear too much weight over time, it can accelerate arthritis of the lower back, resulting in the sudden, intense pain I described earlier.
It’s important to exercise the core muscles around your abdomen and lower back to stay strong. Many back problems are caused by inactivity and smoking.
Inactivity and spine health
Americans spend an average of nearly eight hours per day sitting. Given that most adults have desk jobs, that number isn’t too surprising. But prolonged periods of sedentary behavior can have surprisingly severe effects on your health, so much so that this group of conditions has been given a name: “sitting disease.” Sitting disease increases your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, cancer and more. And it also affects your spine.
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