What does spinal longevity mean to you?
To us, it means an old age free of back pain; furthermore, it means an old age with independence of mobility. And while there will be many intangible factors that contribute to your spinal health, it is important to exercise control over the factors which you can in the here and now. These factors include diet, exercise, posture, and sleep. Making sure you pay attention to posture and movement while focusing on getting the right kind of food gives you the best possible chance of staying upright and independent in your old age.
Degenerative Disc Disease is a misnomer
Degenerative disc disease is a common diagnosis, even among people in their 30s. Many people become scared at the idea they could have degenerative disc disease at such a young age- “How much worse will it be when I am in my 60s,” is a common refrain. But the term is poorly coined- degenerative disc disease is not a progressively worsening condition and evidence indicates that it may be just the opposite; the degenerative cascade theory suggests that the condition will actually improve over time. How can this be so?
Stagnation is the norm
How familiar is this weekday schedule:
- 1 hour of commuting
- 6-8 hours sitting at the office
- 2-4 hours sitting at home recreating or in front of screens
Let’s apply the scope of circulation to this scenario: when you sit for this long each day, your blood circulation becomes stagnant. When your blood doesn’t flow, nutrients and oxygen can’t reach the cells in need, while excess cell waste and lymphatic material is left to accumulate because it can’t be carried away. What does this mean for you:
- Low oxygenation in the brain leads to headaches and anxiety
- Swelling and pain in the extremities
- Loss of range of motion
- Muscle degeneration
Excessive sitting can even go so far as to damage blood vessels and many experts are debating not over whether or not it takes years off your life, but how many! So what is the answer to this circulation stagnation? Movement. Movement of any kind, whether it’s standing up, walking and bending over to take a drink from the water fountain or something more exhaustive, helps get your blood flowing.
Self-care for your back pain
Most cases of non-specific back pain will see the body heal itself in a matter of weeks; conventional wisdom states that if the pain hangs around for longer than four weeks, you should seek the help of a qualified health professional. But one month is plenty of time for you to institute a regime of self-care that will not only heal the existing injury but also strengthen your back to prevent injury moving forward. It all comes down to being proactive.