How To Avoid Having A Bad Back
Most of us have experienced backache at some time. This is hardly surprising.
The spine has to support most of the body's weight and very frequently also bears the abuse imposed by bad posture and the thoughtless body movements that are part of our daily activities.
Bad posture when sitting, standing, walking or lifting heavy objects can eventually take its toll on us both mentally and physically. Continual bad posture leads to pressure on the nerves, ligaments, muscles and discs of the spine. This, in turn, leads to increased fatigue, muscular strain, stiff neck, nervous tension, backache and general body pain. It may also cause displacement and subsequent malfunctioning of internal organs.
If you are overweight your back is under constant strain, especially at its base. Carrying a couple of extra stone around is a steady minor abuse of the back which can eventually lead to disabling back pain.
Pregnancy presents a similar problem. By adding an extra weight it can give temporary posture problems. Don't worry unnecessarily, but make sure that when the baby is born you go back to your old upright posture without too much hollow in the back.
Sometimes repeated stressing affects the spine itself. The spinal column consists of 24 separate movable vertebrae (bones). Between each of these vertebra is a cushioning pad of cartilage which is known as the vertebral disc. These discs, each of which has a soft core, act as shock absorbers when you are walking, running or jumping. Any unusual or sudden strain on the back may cause one of these soft cores to protrude slightly beyond the edges of the vertebrae above and below, resulting in the painful condition called "slipped disc".
Good posture, coupled with regular exercise, will help to maintain a strong, supple, mobile back. If you exercise your back there is a good chance that you won't damage it by the way you type or drive. Walking, swimming, cycling and yoga are all good exercises.
Good posture is an important part of our total health. It is something that we can all improve, ourselves, without any special equipment or drugs. A good posture is one which gives the body easy balance and poise; is aesthetically pleasing; enables the muscles to work to the best advantage and in harmony with each other; and provides the internal organs with room in which to work.