May 21, 2014
Spinal Health Week (19-25 May)
Live Better, We’ve Got Your Back
The month of May promotes the launch of the theme for Spinal Health Week (May 19-25) Live Better, We’ve Got Your Back, a national initiative of the CAA that aims to encourage Australians to support more investment in Chiropractic care and research.
Also as part of Spinal Health Week 2014, chiropractors at will be also encouraging patients and the community to improve their postural fitness.
The population is living longer, so let’s live better. Over a quarter of Australians are being forced into early retirement because of back or arthritic pain. Chronic back pain is one of the top three causes of disability in Australia. Forced early retirement can be devastating not only on your finances but the quality of your retirement years from experiencing physical pain. Retiring too early due to pain may be prevented by seeing a chiropractor and maintaining good postural fitness.
Postural fitness can prevent problems that may occur in your muscles, joints and ligaments, and it can also prevent potential injury. By building up core muscle strength and improving our postural fitness, we can protect and stabilise our spine. We can restore and maintain healthy spinal joints and mobility with chiropractic check-ups.
There are ways to improve our spinal health, such as avoiding sitting down for too long and sitting correctly. By using proper techniques when bending or lifting, you can avoid damage to your spine.
To help improve postural fitness, people can pick an exercise plan that strengthens their core muscles such as Pilates (to build strength and improve breathing, or yoga (to develop good balance and flexibility) or swimming (to improve muscle endurance, strength and resilience).
Around the workplace, people should consider new ways to combat the problems from sitting down for too long. Small changes that you can make to improve your postural fitness and limit time spent sitting include:
- Parking or getting off transport further away from work
- Taking the stairs where possible
- Stand up while on the phone for long periods
- Remember to take regular breaks from sitting and stretch or walk around
- Introduce walking meetings instead of sitting around a table
- Remember to check and adjust your sitting posture regularly
Chiropractors often get asked how to sit right at a computer desk. So the CAA developed a widget you can download to guide you.
At home it’s important for everyone to be aware of their posture, especially children. While playing video games or watching TV, children tend to sit with their head and chin forward which jams the top part of the neck joints. Symptoms of prolonged screen time include visual impairment, headaches and a variety of physical pains including low back pain and repetitive strain. Children are four and a half times more likely to have a daily TV habit than a daily physical habit.
- The longer children sit, the harder it is for them to hold themselves up properly
- Games that get kids out of their seats and moving around are the best types of games
- For non-motion games, regardless of whether it is a hand-held device such as a Nintendo DS or an iPad/table or mobile phone, parents and kids should make sure that time limits are set for a break and a good stretch
An active spine is a healthy spine and a healthy spine leads to a healthier life. Why not use Spinal Health Week to make an appointment with our clinic to assess your postural fitness and discuss how being more active will improve your wellbeing.