How Did You Celebrate World Spine Day?
You’d be forgiven for forgetting there’s a Day to acknowledge between Thanksgiving and Halloween… heck, in this crazy year I couldn’t blame you for missing the fact that it’s October.
But I couldn’t let it pass without reminding you that last Friday, October 16th, was…. WORLD SPINE DAY!!!
A day ‘named’ 9 years ago by the World Federation of Chiropractic to raise awareness/work on prevention and management of spinal conditions.
Anyone who’s read my newsletter for a while knows I have a love for wordplay. So, it was delightful to me that the focus of this year’s campaign is ‘Back on Track’ – a call to a Covid weary population to keep in mind that restrictions of our work-life, recreation-life, and stay-at-home life can affect how our spine is feeling and functioning. As the Spine Day media campaign says: “BACK ON TRACK celebrates people being able to reactivate and revitalize their bodies by getting out and focusing on effective spine care.”
Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives, and that low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. That’s downright scary (and not the Halloween kind)!
So how can avoid being a back-pain statistic? Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
- You are what you eat (and drink): Eating well provides good building blocks for your body to build and rebuild healthy bone, muscles and cells. Maintaining a healthy weight makes it easier to function in your environment. And adequate water intake means your discs are plump, your joints well lubricated and intra/extra-cellular processes functioning well.
- Keep it moving: It can be as little as fidgeting at your workspace (every little bit helps), or as big as committing to a regular exercise routine. We’re not evolutionarily designed to function well at a standstill – so don’t stand still (for too long).
- Mind your posture: Your mom was right when she consistently reminded you to stand up straight. Whether it’s driving, sitting at a desk, or standing in line… check in… aim for ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, and hips over ankles (that one’s for standing, obviously, you’d look pretty silly sitting like that).
- Sleep well: Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness, avoid tummy-sleeping, and set yourself up for good-quality rest by developing a relaxation/mind-clearing routine before you drift off (I list gratitudes as the last thing before sleep to ensure my brain’s dwelling on sweetness rather than stress through the night).
- Lift Right: I can’t remember ever hearing more about home-renovation, decluttering, project-focus than during these pandemic months. While I think positive productivity is great, we need to make sure we’re not hurting ourselves with the lifting, moving, building. Keep work and lifted objects close to your body (remember studying about levers in school?), bend at the knees not the back, and ‘keep your nose between your toes’ i.e. twist by moving your feet in a circle not your back.
And of course – if ever in doubt ask your friendly neighborhood chiropractor (ME!) for advice and suggestions about how to be even healthier and stronger as we get BACK ON TRACK!
Happy belated Spine Day!