Summer is in full swing. Along with the warmer weather and BBQs, come lots of yard work, summer sports and road trips. To try to save you a weekend trip to the chiropractor, I have put together some tips that might help to save your back, while you enjoy your summer. I will blog them weekly.
Let me start with some basic anatomy. In the lower back or lumbar spine, there are five vertebrae. These five vertebrae are stacked on each other like blocks. In between each vertebrae are discs. These disc are like cushions that act like shock absorbers and allow motion in the spine. The anatomy of the disc is like a jelly doughnut. In the middle, there is the “jelly” or the nucleus pulposis, the “doughnut is called the annulus fibrosis.
Excessive bending, lifting and twisting can cause that nucleus to go backwards and break through the annulus. This is can also be called a disc herniation. Prolonged sitting can also cause disc issues.
Some tips for long drives and planes rides include:
1. Try to use a lumbar support pillow. Sitting can flatten out the lower back and puts great burden on the disc. The use of a lumbar support pillow will help keep the healthy curve in your back.
2. The longer you sit the more it can compress the disc. Try to get up and walk around every half hour to forty five minutes.
3. After a long trip, try some stretches and loosen up the lower back before you attempt to lift you luggage out of the trunk or off the conveyer belt at the airport.
If you do injure your back get to the chiropractor ASAP! If you are out of town call our office and we will try to find you a chiropractor where you are.