Spine injuries don’t just lead to back pain: They can also cause referred pain, immobility, and reduced overall function. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to reduce your risk.

Spine injuries and conditions like degenerative disc disease sometimes start out mild but can quickly become major sources of frustration and discomfort in your life. Your spine houses your spinal cord, where all of the nerve roots in your body meet before branching out to your limbs, organs, and tissues. Spine conditions and injuries can impinge these nerves, which causes pain, numbness, and dysfunction.

Expert spinel specialists at North Point Orthopaedics in Munster and Crown Point, Indiana, can provide treatment for spine injuries and conditions when they occur, but treatment can be lengthy and complicated. Some spine injuries require weeks or months of physical therapy in addition to complex, minimally invasive spinel procedures like discectomy or spinall fusion. It’s best to avoid these injuries in the first place when possible.

The next time you experience back pain that doesn’t subside quickly on its own, don’t ignore it. Instead, contact our offices for help right away. In the meantime, you can mitigate your spine injury risk by making a few easy adjustments to your day-to-day life.

Work on building core strength

The muscles in your core are largely responsible for stabilizing and supporting your back, so it’s important to dedicate some time to them during your workouts. If you’re out of shape or just don’t know where to start with core strengthening, you can try:

  • Low-impact cardio like jogging or cycling
  • Using an exercise ball
  • Water therapy
  • Abdominal exercises like crunches or planks

A trained physical therapist can talk to you about how to support your back, especially your low back, by strengthening your core via controlled exercise.

Focus on your posture

Your posture is how you hold your back. You should keep your spine in alignment, whether moving (dynamic posture) or standing still (static posture). Poor posture causes wear and tear within your spine and leaves you more vulnerable to back injuries.

It’s easy to lose focus on your posture and slouch over, especially if you work at a desk or in any position that requires a lot of looking down. With practice, however, you can maintain a straight back and avoid spine injuries, back pain, and poor balance. You can improve your posture while standing up by focusing on:

  • Standing up straight
  • Holding your shoulders slightly back
  • Pulling your stomach slightly inward
  • Keeping your weight on the balls of your feet while standing

Maintaining good posture is more difficult while sitting. As you practice keeping your back in alignment, you should take plenty of breaks from prolonged sitting, avoid crossing your legs, use a pillow to support your lower back, and keep both of your feet on the floor. If you have the means, you might consider investing in an ergonomic office chair.

Use proper lifting techniques

Lifting heavy items using muscles in your back is a surefire way to injure your spine eventually. The next time you’re in the process of moving or are just at the gym lifting weights, be conscious of the muscles you use.

Rather than using your back and shoulders, you should place most of the pressure on your legs as you lift a heavy object off the floor. Bend your knees, hold the object close to your chest, and pivot on your feet instead of twisting your back if you need to turn around as you carry something with weight.

Give your back some rest

Many daily activities place pressure on your back, including driving, weeding the garden, cooking, and cleaning. When you wrap up a prolonged activity, you should restabilize your spine by standing upright for a few minutes instead of jumping right into your next task on the list.

Here at North Point Orthopaedics, our experts can teach you all about your spine and what you need to do to keep it aligned and healthy. Call the office or book your evaluation for back pain online today.

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