It’s a normal part of life to experience aches and pains. Especially when it come to our spine. And it’s even more normal to ignore these aches and pains as they often come and go. From professional athletes, to trauma victims, to nine-to-five office workers – everyone’s back pain is a little different and many of us don’t take the proper actions or listen to our bodies until minor back pain turns into something much more serious – chronic back pain.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, a healthy spine is an often-overlooked part of a healthy lifestyle. During 2017-2018, 4 million Australians experienced chronic back problems or pain and 80% have had a back issue at some point in their lives.
So why then is spinal health so important?
Your Spine Protects Your Central Nervous System
To put it frankly – your spine is the backbone of your health and the centre of your being. But more importantly, your spine is the protector of your central nervous system. This system plays an important role in the function of every other system in your body: circulatory, respiratory, immune and hormonal. So any trauma such as spinal cord injuries can then irritate your central nervous system, or the nerves it protects, causing problems to various muscles and organs through out your body.
Your Spine Controls Coordination of Movement
The spine is also what controls your coordination of movement. This means that even pain and lack of mobility in other areas or limbs of the body, can potentially be the result of spinal issues. And with movement being an essential part of everyday life, any limitations can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing.
Your Spine Supports Your Head
Another important function of the spine is to support your skull, and to connect both shoulders and pelvic girdles. Essentially, it allows your skeleton to be upright and mobile on two legs. Sometimes headaches and pain in the arm or shoulder are the cause of neck pain. In fact, there’s a 50% chance that you’ll have neck pain at some point in your life.**
So then, what are some ways to support a healthy spine?
- Improve posture: Try to be aware of how much you slouch during your day and mindfully correct it. Especially when you’re using technology such as mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
- Maintain an active lifestyle: Movement is medicine. The more you move, the better your circulation is and the stronger your muscles, bones and joints become.
- Strengthen your core: The stronger your core is, the less pressure you’ll put on your low back and spine. Even 10-15 minutes of core strengthening exercises will dramatically effect the health of your spine.
- Ensure your spine is aligned during sleep: Finding the right mattress that provides spinal support is essential in long-term back pain prevention. Consider investing in a quality mattress that’s right for your needs. King Koil mattresses by A.H. Beard feature the advanced Reflex support system, and are the only mattresses recommended by the International Chiropractors Association. They also boast pressure-relieving comfort materials that gently cradle your hips and shoulders for head-to-toe comfort.
According to the World Health Organisation, the second largest cause of disability worldwide is musculoskeletal conditions that reduce mobility, dexterity and functional ability.* These are all related to the health and well being of our spine.
So next time you wake up and feel those minor back aches, listen to your body and take steps to boost the health of your spine and in turn, improve your overall wellbeing.
*Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey