Moderate weight bearing activities, regular stretching, correct postures while standing, walking and sitting, regular walking, good diet and nutrition can help maintain a healthy spine. Yoga stretches like upward stretch, side bends, forward bends, backward bends and Inversions can help maintain spine health. Practice asanas under supervision and practice regularly.
Orthopedic Problems on the Rise
One of the major problems these days is an impact on the spine due to the kind of work we do. Most of the work is table bound and done on computers and devices. To compound the problem, there is no activity at all for hours in a row. A combination of these factors along-with incorrect nutrition leads to different types of orthopedic problems. The most common one is weakening of the spine and losing flexibility. This leads to aches and pains and many other problems later on. All the degenerative diseases which were previously the prerogative of senior citizens are now to be seen in young people and even children.
Role of the Spine
The spinal cord is the most important part of your body after the brain. It is part of the central nervous system and carries nerves which carry messages to and from the body. The bone structure around it brings strength and flexibility to the body in addition to protecting the spinal cord. We can all well imagine how we could function without a spine.
Interesting Research on Spine
There has been an interesting research done in India in two groups. The first were laborers working on construction sites and the second group consisted of office goers and middle and upper level executives. They was adequate representation of men and women in both the groups.
The laborers in many cases were found to have some damage. In many cases the cervical or lumbar bones were fused. In some there was wear and tear observed. But the spine was strong and flexible. Also, the laborers did not experience any pain. They did not get any diseases as well.
In the executives it was found that there was no damage to the spine. However, a lot of them had debilitating pain, cervical pain, sciatica and more. Even when they were told that there was no damage to the spine, the pain would not go. Eventually, in such cases, there is bone density loss and slipped disc and cervical spondylosis after a certain age.
This research shows that the spine needs to be in action.
Keeping the Spine Healthy
The spine remains fit and healthy not due to any one factor but many factors. Like all other parts of the body, the more use it in different ways, the healthier it remains. However, over straining may damage it. Conversely, not using it damages it even more. The following are some of the key factors for a healthy spine:
-Moderate but consistent physical activity through the day
-Some weight bearing activities
-Correctly stretching it regularly
-Correct postures while standing, walking, sitting and even lying down
-Good diet and nutritional inputs
-Asanas and the Spine
Yoga is very clear as regards to spine fitness. When we go through Yoga anatomy, it is clearly mentioned that the spine has to be stretched regularly in six ways. These are:
-Side bends or stretching
-Backward bend or stretching
If all of these are done regularly, the spine remains healthy. Therefore, asanas are designed to incorporate all of these. However, one cannot do this on their own. Guidance is required especially if you have any other health problems. Also inversions are to be done only under guidance and after you have practiced regularly for at least six months.