Poor posture to the fore
We are all aware of the role posture plays in spinal health, and it is an essential one. But as a nation, our postural health is under threat. Sitting up straight with your head back is all well and good, but that doesn’t address the fact that our bodies simply aren’t meant to sit for such a long period of time. Even if you were able to maintain a perfect, balanced posture for 8 hours straight, your spine would still suffer from the lack of movement. So it’s time to stop chasing this elusive ideal of perfect posture, or at least change our thinking about it.
Why does my body feel so tight all the time?
The problem is our lifestyles: in the morning we wake up from a sub-par sleep, get on with our commute, sit all day at work, commute back home, sit and relax. Without any exercise or stretching, your body has no defense against the tension that is constantly accumulating. Excessive sitting puts additional pressure on the spine, damages your organs and contributes to muscular degeneration. You can think of sitting as a proper challenge for your body, akin to a very peculiar sport; the smart person will take the time to prepare their body for a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting.
Let’s choose a movement that directly addresses the problems associated with sitting
The standing hip shift addresses the following bio-mechanical shortcomings:
- It contracts the gluteus maximus which remains weak from lack of use in people who sit a lot.
- Reduces anterior pelvic tilt which is caused by stiffness in the hips and pulls your spine out of alignment at its base.
- Stretches deep core muscles and improves range of motion in the lower back.
- Strengthens and stretches the gluteus medius, improving hip mobility- stiff hips are a signal contributor to lower back pain associated with sitting.
This exercise directly addresses musculoskeletal imbalances that result in back pain and dysfunction. But it can be a hard move to get the hang of- as always, be sure to check with a medical professional to ensure your body can handle this move without causing injury.
Spotlight: deep friction massage for athletes
The most common type of sports injuries involve damage to muscles and connective tissue which are exposed to elevated levels of stress during physical activity. When they are strained or sprained past their breaking point, inflammation, stiffness and pain are likely to set in. These symptoms are a normal part of the injury healing process, as your body seeks to stop you from causing further injury. But depending on the severity of the injury, this process could cost you time on the sideline that you simply can’t afford. At our office in Milpitas CA, we seek to help athletes recover in a fast, effective manner using natural modalities. Deep transverse friction massage is one that shows great effectiveness in sports medicine.
Work is one of the most influential factors in spinal health
It is important to know if your career is going to put your spine at an elevated risk for pain and dysfunction. That way, you can still pursue your dream job (or otherwise), while taking the necessary steps for prevention. At Gregory A. Lind D.C., we consider knowledge and awareness to be some of the sharpest tools in preventive medicine- the more you know about your job, the more you can protect your spine while on it. Let’s take a look at some of the harshest jobs for the spine.