Yes, this post is a little delayed but we’re still within the month of October! If you didn’t know, World Spine Day happens every year on the 16th of October. It’s the 5th year running and this year, the theme is “Straighten Up and Move”! World Spine Day started with the sole purpose of raising awareness of spinal health and/or disorders that could effect individuals and communities. World Spine Day also highlights the important role a chiropractor and physiotherapist play to support effected individuals and communities.
This years’ theme is such a great theme especially for us Malaysians who lead very sedentary lives, where we spend a lot of our waking hours sitting down. Long commutes, desk-bound jobs and our unhealthy eating habits do not help us at all as Malaysians. It is important to maintain a healthy spinal posture and remain active as it promotes body awareness and helps to minimise daily wear and tear of a person’s spine.
For many, spinal health often gets overlooked as poor posture and the lack of activity rarely gives rise to any signs and symptoms during its initial stages. Unfortunately, by the time the signs and symptoms start to show, the health of the spine has deteriorated to the point where a lot of work would need to be done in order to reverse it. Delaying the care of your spine could result in high recovery and rehabilitation costs.
Some of the signs and symptoms of a potentially unhealthy spine could include, low back pain, neck pain, headaches, scoliosis and disc disease. Spinal pain and disability can greatly effect an individuals’ quality of life especially when it prevents them from being able to function effectively at work, performing simple daily activities or causing them to be immobile.
So if you are reading this and you lead a highly sedentary lifestyle, the first step to regaining a healthy spine would be to start moving more. If you are in a desk-bound job, we have a few simple exercises that you can do at the office to help get you up and moving. These simple exercises would only take you a few minutes and like brushing your teeth, it could eventually be made into a routine! Do it regularly as a preventative health practice for your spine.
Chest Stretch and Back Contraction
- Start in a standing position and place your arms parallel with your shoulder.
- Palm facing forwards to begin. Then slowly turn palms to face backwards.
- While the palm is facing backwards, contract the back for 15 seconds. Keep your arms parallel and do not drop your shoulders.
- Stand or sit straight, looking ahead, and place two fingers on your chin.
- Push your chin so that your head goes straight back as to resemble a double chin, lengthening through the back of your neck, and keeping your eyes forwards.
- Hold for 15 seconds and then relax.
Wall Slide/Angel Exercise
- Stand with your back against a wall and bend your knees a little.
- Your shoulders and head should be touching the wall, look straight and tuck in your chin.
- Start with your arms down at your side with your wrists and elbows touching the wall.
- Bring your arms up as high as you can, without any of your body parts coming away from the wall.
- When you reach as far as you can, slide the arms back down to the start position.
If during your attempt at these exercises causes you any discomfort, do make an appointment to see us in case there’s something serious our team should look at. To see if chiropractic or active rehabilitative care can help improve your quality of life, make an initial consultation to see us. Our experienced team will be more than happy to journey with you towards regaining a healthier spine and lifestyle. What are you waiting for, straighten up and move!