October 16th is designated as World Spine Day, created to bring awareness to back pain and other spinal issues. What began in 2012 is gaining momentum as it spreads its message of spinal health. Its aims are to:
1. Raise awareness about spinal health and spine disorders to individuals, communities, professionals and all stakeholders associated with spine care;
2. To provide a forum for ongoing discussion about the burden of spinal disorders and the sharing of best practices;
3. To promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to easing the burden of spinal disorders.
Back pain is the leading worldwide cause of disability. Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The back contains bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain.
While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
Get Spine Active!
Each year has a designated theme to educate about spine health, and in 2019, the theme of World Spine Dayis "Get Spine Active." The focus is to heal back and neck pain through movement and exercise. Active exercise helps incorporate the needed nutrients into and around the disc spaces throughout your spine. Conversely, lack of exercise can worsen pain by leading to stiffness, weakness, and de-conditioning.
54% of Americans who experience low back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. We recommend you set a timer on your phone at regular intervals so you can stretch or take a walk. And while you are at your desk, try to be aware of your posture.
Find out how we can help with this here!
If you already suffer from back pain, start with low impact aerobic exercise, which brings nutrients to injured structures in the back and helps them heal. If you don't currently have pain - congratulations! - and keep moving! Most doctors and physical therapists will tell you that their patients who are aerobically conditioned tend to have less back pain and sciatica.
We invite you to check out this video on stretches to do for back pain.
Now that you know it's World Spine Day, celebrate by taking a walk, doing the above 10 minute stretch routine, or getting in some form of aerobic exercise! Your back will thank you.