Just as a strong spine and good posture are essential to healthy mobility, a painful spine can eliminate it. Mobility is more than just our ability to walk. Mobility is our independence and quality of life.
What is spinal mobility?
Mobility is our ability to move comfortably. It’s not just about how well we can participate in exercise and physical activity, it’s also about how easily we perform simple daily tasks, like bathing, daily chores, and cooking dinner. You might not realize it, but our body moves a lot during the day, and it can be easy to take that for granted.
The spine is a crucial part of the human body’s musculoskeletal (MSK) system. It consists of a series of vertebrae that protect the spinal cord and provide structural support for the upper body. As we age, our mobility may decline, but aging alone doesn’t eliminate our mobility. Mobility requires strength, balance, stamina, and coordination; all things we can condition and improve to keep us moving throughout our lives.
How does mobility contribute to a healthy spine?
Flexibility: Mobility refers to the ability of the spine to move freely through its entire range of motion. A flexible spine is less prone to injury and discomfort. Stretching and flexibility exercises help maintain this range of motion, which is vital for daily activities.
Posture: Proper posture is essential for spine health. Mobility in the spine allows for adjustments in posture to distribute weight and pressure evenly on the spinal discs and surrounding structures. Poor posture can lead to strain and long-term issues.
Joint Health: The spine consists of many joints, including facet joints between the vertebrae. These joints require movement to stay healthy. Regular mobility exercises and adjustments can help lubricate the joints and prevent stiffness or degeneration.
Muscle Support: The muscles surrounding the spine play a crucial role in supporting and stabilizing it. Maintaining mobility in the spine helps ensure that these muscles are functioning optimally, reducing the risk of muscle imbalances and pain.
Pain Prevention: A lack of mobility in the spine can lead to conditions such as herniated discs, sciatica, and general back pain. Gentle, controlled movement through activities like yoga, Pilates, and regular exercise can help prevent and alleviate these issues.
Spinal Health: Adequate mobility in the spine ensures that the vertebral discs receive proper nutrition and hydration. These discs act as shock absorbers and provide cushioning between the vertebrae. Maintaining mobility helps prevent disc degeneration and related problems.
Range of Motion: A healthy spine with good mobility allows individuals to maintain a wide range of motion in their daily lives. This is particularly important for activities like bending, twisting, reaching, and lifting without causing strain or injury.
To maintain mobility and independence while promoting a healthy spine, individuals should consider incorporating the following into their lifestyle:
Regular exercise: Engaging in physical activities that promote spine mobility, such as yoga, stretching, and core-strengthening exercises.
Ergonomic workspaces: Proper ergonomics is like a solid foundation for preventing workplace injuries. It involves optimizing your workspace to minimize strain on your body. Setting up workstations that encourage good posture minimizes strain on the spine.
Proper lifting techniques: Learning how to lift objects safely, using the legs rather than the back to avoid unnecessary stress on the spine.
Regular spinal check-ups: Visiting your chiropractor for regular adjustments can keep you mobile and is also a great place to get guidance on spinal health.
Avoiding excessive sitting: Taking breaks from sitting for prolonged periods and incorporating movement into daily routines.
Mobility is key to an independent life and ensures a healthy spine. A flexible and well-supported spine contributes to overall well-being, reduces the risk of injury and discomfort, and allows individuals to enjoy a full range of motion in their daily activities.
If you think you are in need of MSK care and are not sure where to start, call the CURAVITA Health Group today to book a comprehensive assessment. Our model of patient-centred care in a collaborative multi-disciplinary environment will ensure you get the right care, at the right time and in the right place.