3 Keys to Keeping A Healthy Spine,
Preventing Neck and Back Pain
Everyone wants the same thing. It’s true. I’ve sat down with thousands of patients, and every time I ask them this question, “If we could help you get rid of this pain, what would that help you do?” You have to know that the pain isn’t what brings people into my office. It’s the effect the pain has on ones quality of life. In other words, it’s the inability for one to do a certain activity that the person values. It could be golfing to playing with their children or grandchildren. They may have different activities, but it all boils down to PERFORMANCE and LONGEVITY. People want to perform at a high level for a long period of time. Simple. Why? The most common answer to that is, “So I can be happy.” Or, if you waited to long, One person even said, “I couldn’t imagine another year like last year.” “I just cant live that way.”
The health of your spine dictates the health of your body, so it is one of the most important things to address when approaching any health goal. Your spine is designed to protect the most important thing in your body. Your Nerve System. Your nerve system controls and coordinates every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. When your spine is damaged, then so is your Nerve System, and ultimately you are in poor health/Low Quality of Life. This is why it is important to care for it. How? Your spine is comprised of The nerves, The Bones that protect those nerves, a disc, and some soft connective tissue. The key to the health of all of these is, MOTION! If you don’t have motion then your spine will begin to break down and ultimately create ARTHRITIC CHANGE.
An important aspect of the disc is that it has no vasculature. It has no blood vessels. The only process by which it can receive nutrients is via imbibition. Imbibition refers to the exchange of fluid via movement. Compressive and flexion/extension in your spine create a pumping action for the disc. This serves to pump nutrients like oxygen and glucose in to the disc, and toxins such as carbon dioxide out. This is very important for a healthy disc.
When Subluxation, or damaging misalignment, occurs in the spine there is a resulting loss of motion. If this Subluxation is left untreated, and the loss of motion accumulates so that the disc can no longer get the appropriate amount of nutrients to stay healthy, then the spine begins to degenerate. This is why it is paramount that the spine be free of subluxation, and we don’t wait for correction. The more time a subluxation is present, then the more permanent damage occurs.
The key to keeping a healthy spine and preventing neck and back pain is:
#1. Keep your spine in the proper alignment and remove subluxations. The more time the spine spends in bad biomechanics, the more damage it causes. It doesn’t have the proper motion. The best way to do that is to make sure you stay adjusted.
#2. MOTION! Motion is key. We were designed to move, yet most of us are in a sedentary environment. Motion is what keeps your discs healthy. It’s not just exercising, but focusing on moving your entire spine.
#3. The last key is to stay flexible. We need to stretch! Tightness in hamstrings, glutes, and quads can put undo pressure on our hips and lower back. Forward Head Posture, from looking at hand held devices and computers, can also put that same pressure on our neck, mid back and shoulder regions. Specific stretching exercises can relieve this pressure.