It’s now October (hasn’t that flown by!) and that means its nearly time for world spine day once again. World spine day is an excellent opportunity raise awareness about the importance of spinal health, and, more importantly, what we can do about it!
World spine day
World spine day takes place on October 16 each year, and after many years has become one of the most important worldwide events for raising awareness of back pain and other spinal issues. With health professionals, exercise and rehabilitation experts, public health advocates, schoolchildren and patients all taking part, World Spine Day will be celebrated on every continent. World Spine Day highlights the importance of spinal health and wellbeing. Promotion of physical activity, good posture, responsible lifting and healthy working conditions will all feature as people are encouraged to look after their spines and stay active. World spine day is now more important than ever, since its now thought that as many as one billion people worldwide are suffering from back pain at any given point. It affects all age groups, from children to the elderly, and is the biggest single cause of disability on the planet, with one in four adults estimated to suffer from back pain during their lives. Prevention is therefore key, and this year’s World Spine Day will be encouraging people to take steps to be kind to their spines.
Get spine active!
Unlike some medical practitioners, chiropractors have long focused on the importance of exercise and continued movement as an important tool in preventing, and yes, treating back pain. The theme for this year’s World Spine Day is “Get Spine Active” (#getspineactive), and events will be focusing on proving the value in the phrase ‘movement is medicine’. Keeping your spine mobile while staying active helps to maintain flexibility and prevent back pain – and although we have often been advised in the past that bed rest can be an effective treatment for back pain, there is now little evidence to support this approach.
In many ways, exercise and the promotion of movement and flexibility actually makes much more sense – with over 60 joints in your spine, it’s important that they function properly so the spine can keep you upright while protecting your spinal cord and nerves. As we get older, we all suffer from wear and tear changes, so are subject to aches and pains from time to time. But this doesn’t mean you need to stop moving –it means quite the opposite! Doing daily exercise and movements to keep your spine functioning properly may help to prevent joints from getting creaky and painful.
While there’s often a focus on aging related wear and tear (and this year we especially want to get older people involved) today its ever more the case that our increasingly digital lives are also associated with postural issues which can also have a big impact on our flexibility.
The good news is that even some simple exercises can go a long way to encourage flexibility and promote spine health, even taking short breaks from your desk to move about can make a huge difference. Other great “low impact” options include yoga, swimming or non-contact sports such as tennis.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on how you can get spine active in your everyday life and indeed, announcing some special events here at the clinic, so watch this space!