There is a growing problem happening and its affecting people of all ages. As we spend more time sitting in front of a computer, the more we are complaining of back pain. Spinal health is incredibly important yet very much overlooked. Poor posture, prolonged sitting, heavy purses and knapsacks… these are all factors contributing to a weak spine.
Back pain can limit your ability to perform daily tasks. Some of us may be so limited by our back pain that we don’t partake in activities and exercise This is problematic because inactivity contributes to greater degeneration of the spinal discs and spine as a whole. This is why it’s so important to treat your back pain and not simply live with it.
Dr. Aashish Chaudhry explained, “Continuous cell phone, laptop, and desktop use can prove detrimental to your neck and spine health. Perpetual use of these devices influences our stance in unhealthy ways that contribute to neck upper back and shoulder pain. Bad posture while sitting, standing, walking, or in a static position can lead to stiffness. Bad posture can also affect other parts of the spine, such as the middle and low back. Use any device at the eye level as much as possible. They should also be positioned so the screen is at eye level and you don’t have to look down or bend your head forward. Ensure that your screen is set up so that you have to look forward. Adopting principles of good ergonomics early in life can help you go a long way in preventing neck and back problems.”
Although age-related spinal changes cannot be undone, there are exercises that can be practiced to improve the spine. Yoga moves like snake, downward dog, and child’s pose can alleviate back pain along with strengthening the back. Other aspects that can be considered when protecting the spine and preventing osteoporosis include smoking cessation, as smoking increases bone degeneration. Dr. Puneet Girdhar added, “Hydration [maintains] soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints. Apply heat—Warm water baths, using a heated compress or lying briefly under a heat lamp relaxes your back muscles and stimulates blood flow.”
Dietary habits that can help support a healthy spine include eating whole foods and plenty of dark leafy greens like broccoli as they are a good plant-based source of calcium. Eggs, fatty fish, and getting plenty of sunlight are good ways to get vitamin D.
Knowing your risk factors for osteoporosis and speaking to your doctor can help you further prevent the risk of spinal or bone injuries.