Mind your Back (Posted on March 28, 2017 by Dr.Himanshu Arora)

Mind your Back

Our back is a complex structure that makes it prone to all stresses and strains of daily life.
According to the global burden of disease study 2010, back pain is the highest contributor of disability in the world.

As a matter of fact, our vertebral column is curved in nature and this curvature helps our back to absorb the pressure of gravity, the weight of the body and also the impact of ground while you stand or walk. Most of the sprains in back occur during day to day activities such as lifting something, twisting which is due to excessive stretch on the muscles and ligaments that leads to swelling, pain, tenderness and stiffness.

Back pain is usually due to lifestyle causes, ageing, or even accidents. Any habitual pose that has a tendency to change the natural curvatures of the spine like poor posture while sitting, driving, sleeping. Whereas driving also leads to strain on back as it exerts the jerks from the road leading to pressure causing muscular fatigue and compression of vertebral disk.

Wrong mattress: If your mattress is not suited to you as per your body weight, dimensions or preference; it may cause undue stress on your spine leading to back pain.

Lack of physical activity: It also decreases the strength of the muscles of back and make it more venerable to injury & strain.

Lifting heavy weight in wrong manner also causes injury to the back muscles, vertebral column and lead to backache

However, there are also some medical conditions like osteoarthritis, spondylosis, slipped disc etc that may cause back pain.

Now the question is what to do?

Our sole aim should be to respect the natural curvature of our vertebral column.

You can do this by the following:
  • Correct your body posture: Ensure that your back is properly aligned both standing and sitting. While driving you can adjust your seat and headrest so that, you don't have to lean on the steering. While sitting on desk keep the screen on the height of your eyes and desk surface at the level of elbow ; you can also find a well supportive chair and footrest to avoid strain.
  • Try to keep your bag light weight: You can wear it on both shoulders or alternate the arm to avoid strain.
  • Avoid wearing high heels as it exerts pressure on your spine.
  • Take frequent breaks: If you have a habit to sit for long period, you are advised to take a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours to walk around and stretch.
  • Make exercise a lifestyle: Research has shown It not only keeps you healthy but also strengthens the muscles of back that reduces the risk of strain on back muscles and spine. But keep in mind that exercise should be done under expert supervision with moderate weights.
  • Choose your diet wisely: Consume vegetable, fruits, meats and legumes especially foods rich in Calcium & Vitamin-D. Having dairy products , eggs , fish etc with 15 minutes of sunlight exposure keeps your back healthy.

Last but certainly not the least, SLEEPWELL: Sleep is the most relaxing activity for the whole body, it repairs the muscles and bones. Taking a good quality sleep on the right mattress and pillow suited to you according to your body weight, dimension that adapts according to your body contour and offer adequate support to your back and head.

Once you choose a right mattress according to the above criteria by taking a test drive of your mattress i.e. experiencing your comfort and support. Then it is generally seen that, it not only keeps your spine healthy, but also helps you Sleepwell.
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