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Back problems are often caused by certain daily activities, which we often consider harmless. At its core, the predisposition is mainly a result of bad posture and poor muscle support. One must not only be aware of these innocuous but unavoidable activities, but at the same time, be more conscious about taking the right steps to prevent any future spinal injuries and chronic problems. For Spinal Cord Injury Day, which falls on September 5, we take a look at a few activities that you can avoid to keep spinal woes at bay.
Prolonged and continuous sitting predisposes the back for early degeneration and injuries. Sitting for more than 6 to 8 hours as well as a bad sitting posture puts undue stress on the back, leading to negative bio-mechanical changes in the spine. The current pandemic and work from home has significantly impacted our ergonomics, especially for the younger lot.
Tip: Avoid sitting for too long, and take breaks, change posture and avoid slouching. Use standing desks and workstations.
Reaching out to lift even simpler/ lighter objects away from the body puts the spine at a serious bio-mechanical disadvantage. A significant load is directly transmitted to the inter-vertebral discs and the spine, leading to higher chances of slipped disc and nerve compression.
Tip: Go near the object and lift, tighten the core and be conscious, in case it is unavoidable.
Most of the spinal injuries and leg pain episodes bear a history of injury while carrying heavy weights. Not only lifting but pulling, dragging as well as carrying heavy objects transmits the load to the spine, thereby leading to muscle, disc or bony injury. It predisposes one to a chronic back problem.
Tip: Distribute weight on both sides, and don’t lose posture while carrying heavy objects.
Bad posture is at the core of major back problems. Your posture, while performing daily chores like cleaning, using the broom, squatting or even sleeping can predispose the back to a disabling injury. These injuries can be as trivial as muscle catches or sprains to serious nerve compression.
Tip: Good postural training is important.
Also, Read: Long sitting hours? These are 4 problems you could end up with
Doing improper, overzealous and unsupervised yoga stretches can adversely affect the spine health. Extremes of stretches or movements cause frequent micro-injuries in the back stabilizers and muscles, and can be the main cause of a chronic back problem.
Tip: Supervised yoga with professionals ; avoid uncomfortable stretches.
Lack of regular exercise and fitness can lead to poor muscle support, which puts the back at risk. Even simpler loads can cause back injury in sedentary people. Chronic biological changes happen in the disc and back joints, predisposing to a future back injury with a seemingly minute injury.
Tip: Keep weight under control. Have a healthy active lifestyle, and make special efforts to do endurance training.
Mobiles, tablets and laptop use as well as low platform level activities leads to poor neck posture. It is also a major risk factor for early muscle fatigue; both in the case of back, neck pain and injury. If you’re a heavy screen user, correct the neck posture and ergonomics to prevent these disabling problems
Tip: Pay special attention to proper neck posture ; reduce gadget dependence.
Also, one must not forget that smoking, alcohol and emotional stress all make the neck and back more prone to pain, degeneration and injury.
In case of any tell-tale sign, always seek advice from a spine professional. Take a corrective step before landing in a major spinal injury and nerve issue. As they say, prevention is better than cure.