Getting older means taking a more proactive approach to spinal care
Whether you like it or not, once we approach the quarter-life mark, (20-25 years), our spines need help. Gone are the days of resilience where our backs could withstand seemingly any twist, turn, and dip. The reality is that spines begin to stiffen as the constant downward compression of gravity compounds and begins to wreak havoc. It is therefore our responsibility to protect the longevity of our spines by taking decisive action now! Fortunately, your spinal care specialists at Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center are well equipped to help you do just that.
Why circulation is so important
When your blood is flowing optimally, all the cells in your body are getting the oxygen and nutrients (assuming you have been consuming them!) they need, while they are also able to get rid of the cell waste and toxins that cause cellular dysfunction. Your vital organs, including the brain, are literally fed by your blood. We can put no price on the importance of these inputs for the function of our bodies, allowing our cells to repair and regrow the way they need to keep us healthy and functioning optimally.
Spinal pressure is exacerbated by cell phone use
The downward pressure of gravity is ever-present: statistics show that your lumbar intervertebral discs are under 100kg of pressure when you are standing with good posture; 125 when you are sitting with good posture. That is enough to overburden discs, especially when you are going around with an inferior set of supportive muscles. However, another way to overburden your spine is with poor posture, and cell phone use is conducive to poor posture:
- The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds
- Every inch you hold your head forward while looking at your cell phone magnifies the weight of your head by up to 10 times per inch.
Spinal longevity means a better old age
Our spine is the foundation of our well-being. When we are young, the majority of us are blessed to take it for granted, moving at will and maintaining a natural resilience to injury. But age is the natural enemy of our spine- the truth is, human lifespans are now longer than the sell-by dates of our spines. Here is why spines matter for old age:
- They keep us mobile: initiating and sustaining the forces incurred during movement begins with the spine.
- They support us: staying upright means staying healthy. A properly supported spine keeps us feeling our best.
- A healthy spine can prevent injury
- Provides a conduit for the nervous system
When your ergonomics work against you…
There is such a thing as bad ergonomics, and let us assure you, it is far more common than good ergonomics! Ergonomics is actually an applied science- the science of human efficiency as determined by the design and arrangement of the surrounding environment. A typical ergonomic equation follows that a happier, healthier human is a more productive worker; and ergonomics is the cornerstone of this equation. However, far too many companies fail miserably when it comes to setting up their employees for ergonomic success. And far too many workers fail themselves by not taking the onus upon their shoulders to keep themselves healthy by optimizing their ergonomic situation.
Ergonomic risk factors include:
- Poorly adjusted work stations
- Consistently poor (or poorly supported) posture
- Exposure to repetitive motions which cause trauma
Positions that put your spine under pressure
No surprises here; some of the most common positions we assume are the ones which put our spines under the most pressure. These positions include:
- Forward head posture
These are positions that contribute to the premature degradation of spines, and the age of onset for such degradation is shifting to an earlier demographic thanks to the use of mobile devices. Problems associated with these postures include:
- Narrowing of spinal discs
- Exaggerated curvature
- Increased compression of the spine
- Herniated discs
- Facet joint syndrome
As an office of chiropractic, our job is to reverse the harmful effects of this compression. One of our best modalities for doing this is spinal elongation.
Flexion-distraction is therapy for back pain sufferers
Flexion-distraction is a well-researched and effective technique which seeks to offer lasting back pain relief to people suffering from conditions including:
- Chronic low back pain
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Sacroiliac syndrome…
…among many others. In essence, your spine is always under compression due to the force of gravity. Over time, compressive forces take their toll and cause dysfunction and pain in the spine. Flexion-distraction is a direct treatment for a spine under pressure.