Nobody intentionally does things to increase their risk of suffering a back injury, but oftentimes we unknowingly do things that leave us predisposed to a spinal injury. Today, we take a look at five ways people unknowingly stress and strain their spine, and we share some tips for staying aware of your posture.
5 Activities That Are Killing Your Spine
These daily activities may unknowingly be stressing your spine.
1. Your Commute - If you drive to and from work during rush hour, you spend a considerable amount of time in the car throughout the week. If your seat is reclined so that your head is not up against the headrest, you will be stressing your cervical spine, and conversely, if you’re slumping in your seat, your lumbar spine will be tasked with handling excess stress. Consider putting a towel or a small pillow behind the small of your back when driving and keep your seat in an upright position to help keep your spine in alignment while you drive.
2. Your Cell Phone - The majority of Americans own a cell phone, and with the internet at our fingertips, many of them spend a good portion of the day hunched over their phone. The problem is that craning forward to look at our phones puts some serious strain on our cervical spine. If you hold a bowling ball out in front of you, your arms are going to get fatigued. A similar process happens in your cervical spinal muscles went your neck constantly tilted forward while you’re looking down at your phone. Position your phone out in front of you when using.
3. Your Desk - If you work in an office or you spend some time at a desktop computer at your house, you spend a lot of time in a computer chair. The longer we stay seated, the more likely we are to slouch or hunch forward. Sit straight up with your head positioned directly above your neck, and be sure to take regular breaks to help get healthy blood flowing.
4. Failing to Stretch - How many of you always take time to stretch before mowing the yard, shoveling snow or moving boxes in the garage? If you aren’t stretching before activity, you are leaving yourself predisposed to injury. You can easily strain a back muscle or herniate a spinal disc if you jump right into activity, so take a couple of minutes to stretch your neck, back, arms and legs prior to physical activity.
5. Your Diet - Eating a diet full of vitamins and nutrients is great for your spine and overall health, because certain foods can lead to inflammation and pain in your spine. Excess sugar and saturated fat can lead to an increase in inflammation in areas of your spine, which can irritate joints or compress any of the multitude of nerves you have in your back. You can still indulge in sweets here and there, but don’t get the majority of your calories from unhealthy sources, or you may feel it in your back.
About Dr. Stefano Sinicropi
Dr. Stefano Sinicropi is a Board Certified Expert in spinal surgery, who is trained in both Orthopedic and Neurosurgical techniques. He dedicates his practice to getting his patients back to a pain-free life. Read more about Dr. Sinicropi at his website.