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6 Exercises for a Healthy Spine

The spine is a column of 26 bones in an adult body and it has a very important role in the human body as it supports the upper body’s weight, provides posture while allowing movement and flexibility and protects the spinal cord. It is comprised of three segments: cervical spine (from the skull’s base to the upper chest); thoracic spine (from the upper chest to the middle back); and lumbar spine (in the lower back).

Sitting at work or in school for hours, in front of the TV or computer, in a public transport, or even on a picnic may cause back pain and spine issues.“Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, are more likely to experience back pain. Because so many people suffer from spine pain, it’s important for you to try to keep your spine as healthy as possible. Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape.” (AmericanChiropracticAssociation.org)Interesting facts about back pain provided on the American Chiropractic Association website:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.3
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.4

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However, we simply cannot avoid modern way of life, but what we can do is think of how to prevent the occurrence of spinal issues and to strengthen the muscles that support the “pillar of the human body.” Physical activity is the key for good health of our musculoskeletal system that provides stability, form, support, and movement to the body. Any issues in the back and spinal areas can be overcome with swimming, walking, aqua aerobics, morning stretching, as well as maintaining a proper body posture and taking short breaks when sitting for a longer period.

The health of the spine is directly related to the strength of the back and abdominal muscles, which carry the major part of the upper body’s weight. If our back and stomach musculature is weak and we have excess weight, the increased burden will badly affect our spine which will lead to pains in this area. Therefore, you should strengthen these two groups of muscles by exercising and thus you will decrease the risk of spinal issues.

To do this, we recommend you to start practicing these 6 exercises:

Exercise No.1: Lie down on your stomach and stretch out your arms above your head, then simultaneously lift your upper body from the surface with your arms and legs stretched out.

Exercise No. 2: Get in the same position as in exercise no. 1. This exercise includes the same movements as the previous one, except here you should hold a small ball in your hands while performing it.

 



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