Prevent spine injury by staying healthy and fit - and having fun!
Staying healthy and fit well into the golden retirement years is a feat that many are increasingly embracing as we shift into greener and healthier lifestyles. With Spring’s arrival, everyone is encouraged to get outside, enjoy soft breezes, and catch some well deserved vitamin D. Doing so while participating in healthy activities can benefit the body and mind as well as ward off painful spinal injuries.
Whether through participation in team sports such as baseball or tennis or through lively afternoon walks with friends, staying fit is essential to keeping your body on the defense against back and neck pain. The muscles in your core and also in your back and neck are responsible for much of your range of motion and essential to everyday movements both simple and complex. When these muscles are strengthened and stretched often, this results in a better posture, healthy weight, and increased flexibility. Regular activity also prevents common spinal injuries such as herniated discs or bulging discs by maintaining the exchange of fluids and nutrition within spinal structures, reducing swelling and inflammation, and stimulating healing.
“Herniated discs in the back or neck occur when the outer part of the intervertebral disc tears; this is also called an annular tear. The soft jelly-like center of the disc, or nucleus pulposus, may then leak out. This has the potential to cause excruciating pain by affecting the nerve roots,” says Ara Deukmedjian, MD. “Herniated discs are less likely to occur if one stays active, practices a healthy lifestyle, and uses the proper lifting techniques. If pain persists for 6 weeks or more, a spine specialist should be consulted in order to make an accurate diagnosis and come up with an effective plan of treatment.”
How can you adopt more activity into your Springtime schedule? Many communities have recreation departments that offer a variety of programs, sports or clubs open to all ages. Join a walking club and round up your friends to participate, as well. Enjoy a few rounds of golf. Attend craft fairs and other events where walking is involved. Revive that competitive side by signing up for a community sports team. Join a gym that encourages both stretching and strengthening by offering classes such as yoga or pilates. Check your local paper where many events are listed throughout the month. Assign yourself with several days a week to participate in these healthy activities. Be sure to add them to your calendar so that you won’t be tempted to skip out on the fun. Involve your family and friends!
Find out more ways to prevent spinal injuries or learn more about herniated discs or other causes of back and neck pain. If your pain persists for more than 6 weeks, call 1-800-Fix-My-Back to speak with our patient advisor and find out if you are a candidate for treatment at Deuk Spine Institute. Request an appointment online here!