Spine pain affects all people across their life course and is the most noted cause of disability in every country. Picture: Pexels / Karolina Grabowska
Spine pain affects all people across their life course and is the most noted cause of disability in every country. Picture: Pexels / Karolina Grabowska

World Spine Day: Tips from 3 medical practitioners

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Oct 16, 2020

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Today is World Spine Day, a day that highlights the burden of spinal pain and disability for people around the world.

Four out five people suffer from, or will at some point in their lives experience significant back pain. Spinal pain is the most noted cause of disability in every country in the world.

World Spine Day promotes the importance of spinal health and well-being. The goal is to encourage physical activity, with good posture, responsible lifting and healthy working conditions. Here are three ways to help your spine.

Posture

Sitting for prolonged periods can strain your back, and your positioning can make it even worse. Picture: Christian Campilii, physiotherapist

Mind your posture all the time. Proper digestion only occurs when we are sitting up straight. Good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders and the “angel wings,” or the shoulder blades, retracted. In proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished. Recent studies show that gastric emptying is significantly delayed in the supine position when compared to a sitting position.

In addition, if you’re slouched over your plate, food cannot travel to the stomach in time for your body to tell your brain it’s getting full; it can take twice as long, causing you to eat twice as much.

Sitting for prolonged periods can strain your back, and your positioning can make it even worse. To provide yourself with the most relief, make sure your back is aligned against the back of the seat. Keep your shoulders straight and avoid rounding forward. Both feet should rest firmly on the floor

Pigeon Stretch

Purposefully and intentionally stretch the right sciatic nerve. Picture: Marcia Griffin-Hansraj, physiotherapist

The pigeon stretch is one of my most frequently prescribed exercises because it targets the sciatic nerve to relieve sciatica.This exercise stretches the tiny piriformis muscle, which sometimes becomes inflamed and presses against the sciatic nerve, causing pain. Get into position with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. Place the right heel in towards your left hip. Make sure your left hip is facing down towards the mat. Hold this position with your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee. Repeat on the other side.

The Power of Thoughts

Dr Ken Hansraj believes that we can radically transform our worlds, one thought at a time. Picture: Supplied

With a positive thought or with random acts of kindness: the brain is calm, the body moves into a rest and digest mode, there are fewer “pressors” (chemicals e.g. epinephrine, that raise the blood pressure), the heart feels good, the body relaxes and takes breaths deep into the lungs, the intestines work on digestion more efficiently, libido is increased, muscles loosen and are more mobile, the arteries don’t experience an excessive amount of pressor, creating a normotensive state (having normal blood pressure), there are less inflammatory factors in your blood stream, the pancreas and thyroid function optimally, the immune system peaks, helping to ward off infection, inflammation decreases, increasing body resting and functioning and there is decreased tenderness and discomfort due to spinal problems. Dr Ken Hansraj believes that we can radically transform our worlds, one thought at a time. This concept is excerpted from the international bestselling book:

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