How to Keep Your Spine Healthy…
The single most important thing that you can do to help your spine is move. Movement flushes blood through the soft tissue, stretches local muscles, and breaks adhesions between local structures. It stimulates synovial cells in the joints between the vertebrae, which causes synovial fluid (a lubricant and source of nutrition) to be released within the vertebral joints. Movement also triggers receptors in the spine that cause a reflex relaxation of the muscles. However, some forms of movement are better than others.
The best form of movement is light, repetitious, low-impact motions that move the joints through a full range of motion.
Examples of good forms of exercises:
- Swimming or walking in water
- Walking briskly (preferably with lots of arm movement)
- Cross-trainers or stepper machines
- Low-impact aerobic classes
Cycling is good for the cardio-vascular system, but there is not a lot of movement of the spine compared to other exercises. In some people it can cause problems at the base of the neck due to the neck position during riding, so the set-up of your bike is important. Running creates a lot of movement, but is high impact and can aggravate some people’s low backs. If you want to run, your technique is very important. Good running style includes lots of short steps (180 per minute), angling the body forward slightly, and landing on the fore or mid-foot instead of the heel. For more information, talk with Stefan. At Sarrià Quiropràctica you will be given specific stretching and mobilising exercises for your case, to mobilise certain areas of your spine.
Posture: Your posture while you sit, stand, walk, and work is very important too. Whenever possible, try to keep your spine in a neutral position—not bent, twisted, or rotated. When vertebrae are out of their normal, neutral position for periods of time it can cause the joints to be jammed up or restricted. This is one of the main causes of problems in the spine.