World Spine Day 2023: Know how proper posture can transform your spine health
On World Spine Day, let us know the importance of caring for your spine. Also, understand how good posture can impact your spine health.
Our spine is a vital structure of our body, bearing more load than any other single component. It consists of 33 vertebrae stacked on top of one another, separated by soft, rubbery discs that act as shock absorbers. Inside the spinal column is a spinal canal that houses the nerves responsible for proper functioning. The spinal column primarily acts as a load-bearing structure, while also protecting the nerves.
Taking Care of the Spine:
Caring for our spine is essential both during good health and when we face spinal issues. The approach to spine care differs between these states. Neglecting the spine and muscles around it even when we are healthy can lead to back aches of muscular origin, the most common cause of back pain in young individuals. This type of back pain arises due to weak muscles, often a result of a sedentary lifestyle and neglecting spinal health. However, the load we put on the spine remains the same. Strengthening these muscles through regular exercise is a must to support the load and proper functioning of the spine.
Proper Posture Can Transform Your Spine Health.
Even strong, healthy muscles can become a source of pain when we maintain a poor posture, such as prolonged slouching and sitting for a longer duration. It's logical to say that bad posture, which constantly stretches the muscles, can lead to increased pain. Thus, maintaining a proper posture is of paramount importance. This means sitting with a straight back and proper back support, keeping the laptop screen at eye level, using a comfortable chair rather than a low sofa, and avoiding working while lying down.
Spine Care While Having a Spinal Disease:
In a diseased spine, we need to strengthen the back muscles as this will offload the strain on the spinal bones. The different diseases affecting the spine may include cancer or infection of the spine, degeneration (wear and tear of the spine), disc herniation, or metabolic and inflammatory disorders. All these conditions can destroy bone, and lead to the loss of integrity and compression of nerves within the spinal column. Thus, taking the load off of the spine becomes necessary in such compromised situations to minimize the disastrous effects of spinal diseases. This can be achieved through correct postural balance, along with isometric back-strengthening exercises.
Post-Surgical Care of the Spine:
Post-surgical spine care is another focus point for maintaining good spinal health. Sometimes, surgery of the spine becomes unavoidable to address certain spine issues through surgery like nerve decompression, spinal alignment correction, deformity correction, or the removal of pus or tumours.
Spinal surgeries can be quite extensive, rendering the spine unstable. Most of these surgeries require the removal of significant muscle tissue to access the spine, implant screws and rods and stabilize the spine, and fuse the spine with bone graft. Thus, they demand a post-operative rehabilitation regime to strengthen the spinal muscles to achieve full recovery after the surgery.
-Dr. Amrithlal. A. Mascarenhas, Consultant - Spine Surgery, Manipal Hospital Millers Road