Q. What are the best aerobic exercises for my spine?
Walking is the top exercise for a healthy spine. The “trunk” motion will help get rid of swelling or chemicals known to build up and cause pain. Swimming is another good exercise for the spine. Because of the buoyancy of water, it relieves stress from your spine and leg joints, and lets you move more freely.
Q. What exercises should I do to keep a healthy lower back?
You should do exercises that offset common problem factors of back pain such as weak trunk and abdominal muscles, bad posture, and deconditioning caused by a lack of exercise. Some of the best options include:
Q. Are abdominal “crunches” exercises the best way to stop low back pain?
Crunches can help improve your upper abdominal muscles, but a lot of people who have chronic back pain already have strong upper abdominal muscles. While crunches may provide some relief, it’s more important to focus on strengthening your lower abdominals to prevent and relieve back pain. The loss of nerve function and muscles in the lower abdominals has been linked to chronic back pain.
Q. Is “correct” posture important for my spine?
Good posture is one of the best defenses against spine disorders. In fact, having healthy posture can help prevent some spine injuries. Problems start to occur when your spine is in unnatural and unhealthy positions. When the joints are in their neutral position, it allows your body to function safely and more efficiently.
Q. When can I go back to work after spine injury?
Physical therapy can be very effective in relieving your condition so that you can return to work safely. Occupational and physical therapists are trained in ergonomics and injury prevention, so they are well equipped to treat your condition. The physical therapist will use all of the information you provide, and evaluate your progress to give you the “ok” to go back to work. The period of time will vary patient to patient, and also with the type of work you do.
Q. Should I lock/support my feet when doing sit-ups?
Locking your feet underneath an object or having someone hold them can be unsafe because it causes your body to rely on your hip flexor muscles too much if your abdominal muscles are weak. If your large hip flexor muscles overpower your abdominal muscles, you could hyperextend your lower back. It’s safer to perform crunches, rather than sit-ups.
Q. How can I prevent problems after having spine surgery?
Following a spine surgery, you can potentially develop back pain again in the future. We will supply you with a program you can use at home for therapy to help fight pain and discomfort after your procedure. The use of ice or heat, and rest can also help alleviate your pain.
Q. My back hurts when I sit at a computer. Should I buy a new chair?
Your chair may not be to blame. Poor posture while you’re sitting can contribute to back pain. Having a comfortable chair that’s ergonomically designed can help improve your posture. You should also avoid slouching or hunching over as much as possible. Instead, keep your lower back against the back of the chair and keep your feet planted on the ground to avoid putting pressure on your knees.
Q. Should I wear a support belt/brace when lifting at work?
Support belts have not been proven to prevent spine injures for workers who lift heavy items throughout the day. You most likely do not need a support belt while you lift at work unless you have suffered from a severe spine injury. In which case, you should refrain from lifting heavy items in general. If you have had a serious spine injury, you may be instructed to use a brace for a short period of time.