Be Kind to Your Spine: Easy Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Spine Fractures
As we become older, many of our bones become weaker due to a process called osteoporosis.
Vertebrae in the spine are among the bones in our bodies affected by osteoporosis.
In the human spine, there are 24 bones called vertebrae that are square-shaped bones that stack up on each other to support the body. When vertebrae become weak due to osteoporosis, they break easily, leading to vertebral compression fractures.
Vertebral compression fractures are one of the most common fractures due to osteoporosis.
Multiple vertebral compression fractures may lead to deformities in the back.
Besides causing chronic pain, these deformities lead to disability and loss of self-esteem.
Deformities in the spine make it difficult to sleep comfortably and even may affect normal breathing and eating, as spine deformities can compress the stomach and lungs.
In addition to treating osteoporosis, the following lifestyle changes in the way you move can help prevent these fractures.
Don’t Do the Twist
It may have been a huge dance craze, but when you perform a twisting action of the spine, your muscles pull on the vertebrae. This pulling force may contribute to the development of fractures.
Therefore, try to avoid twisting your back too quickly or too far.
Avoid repeated twisting of the spine or twisting your back while carrying heavy items.
Instead, step and turn with your feet, rather than twisting your back when looking sideways.
Stay Safe and Carry On
When carrying groceries, balance the groceries in both hands to put equal weight on the spine. Hold the groceries close to your body to put less stress on your spine.
When picking up heavy objects, bend at the knees, ankles and hips while keeping your back straight.
Use Proper Posture
Bending forward using your back muscles puts extra stress on the spine, which may increase the risk of fracture.
The correct way to bend is to use a hip hinge. A hip hinge means bending forward while keeping your back straight and bending from the hips.
Even when bending using a hip hinge, avoid bending all the way forward, avoid repeatedly bending forward and avoid bending forward too quickly.
Also, never bend forward while holding heavy objects.
In summary, remember the simple steps discussed above to reduce stress on the spine and reduce the risk of spine fractures.
Continue to move around, but be mindful of these precautions, especially if you have severe osteoporosis.
Published on: April 5, 2018