‘Upgrade Your health IQ!’ Is a Physiotherapist led blog series aimed at educating you on your body. In our profession we are here to help when something goes wrong BUT we are also here to help ensure that nothing goes wrong in the first place. An essential part of this is educating you.
You, the workers, the athletes, the parents, the students, the everything that makes up the population that has brought you here. You are our target audience. The simple fact is, nobody is immune to injury but everyone can be active in preventing it. You just need the knowledge.
So where better to start than the spine? We’ve all seen the instructional tips, tricks and general health examples out there. You hear people telling you to ‘protect your spine’’ or ‘keep your back straight’, even ‘brace your abdominals’.
BUT WHY?? Should our spine be ‘held back’ and limited? Does it really need protection? Something that a lot of people look past, forget and sometimes ignore is…
⧫ Our spine is structurally central and the most pivotal point of the entire body ⧫
… Understandably confusing!! The question of how to look after but also trust your spine is something that we are asked every single day.
To start with, it’s important to have good communication between your mind and your spinal column. Like any strong/mutually respectful relationship, this ensures that both parties can understand when the other is stressed, tired, happy, strong and ideally THRIVING.
Try this – Listen and observe yourself over the next day or so and ask yourself these two things:
- What is helping make my back feel good?
- What is hindering me/my back and making me feel stiff or sore?
This simple exercise allows you to develop a better idea of what your aggravating factors are as well as what your easing factors are. This communication technique is not designed to build fear around catalysts. Instead, it is to begin to discover what is the root of the issue, and what can be done to change it? Everyone is different, but sometimes some simple tips and reconnecting with your body can help to nudge you in the right direction.
Follow these three tips to improve the important relationship with your spine:
- MOTION IS LOTION – the crux of it is, that if you are feeling stiff then you probably are. Now, don’t go straight out and run a marathon but introduce some simple movements into your daily routine that will enhance your mobility. (Click here to check out a post we did earlier with some mobility essentials to try no matter what your day looks like) – https://www.instagram.com/p/CQxg765niIt/
- KNOW YOUR BODY – The spine isn’t one solid structure. It’s made up of 7 bones in the neck – cervical spine. 12 bones in the center – thoracic spine. Five bones in the lower back – lumbar spine. Each section of the spine is built differently and moves a certain way. The spine as a whole is perfectly designed to move IN ALL DIRECTIONS, UNDER ALL SORTS OF CONDITIONS AND IS REMARKABLY RESILIENT!
- START SMALL AND PROGRESS SLOWLY – One step in the right direction is today’s task. Tomorrow you can take step two…
Follow the ‘Upgrade your health IQ!’ Volume 1 series to read more about specifics regarding healthy ways to look after your spine. This was the first edition of many! Updates will be located on The Joint Physiotherapy and Allied Health Social Media. If you need some more guidance, talk to your local physiotherapist to get some specific treatment and exercises to keep taking those steps towards a strong and healthy spine.