The World Spine Day is October 16th and the theme for 2016 is Straighten Up and Move.
Millions of people in all continents of the world suffer with spinal disorders. These can include low back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc disease, to name but a few. Spinal pain and disability can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health, sometimes preventing them from working or even doing simple daily activities.
Research has demonstrated that poor posture and inactivity are major contributors to the development of back pain and other spinal disorders. According to the World Health Organization, one in four adults is not active enough and over 80% of adolescent population is not active enough.
Walking is a terrific form of exercise. It strengthens your body and helps position your spine in the natural shape it was designed for – being upright.
Modern lifestyles such as office work and extended use of computers or mobile devices can force us to be less active or adopt sedentary positions leading to poor posture, issues with balance and coordination, and even pain.
When walking properly you naturally adopt proper posture. Because regular walking will also build up your core strength, an important ingredient in maintaining good posture, it will help you to maintain better posture during your other daily activities.
Why is good posture important?
A good postural position permits you to breathe better, and as a result reduces fatigue and minimises other side-effects associated with bad posture.
Proper posture keeps muscles, ligaments, bones and internal organs in their natural position. This reduces wear and tear of joints, and relieves stress, improving health and enhancing your appearance.
Why are Osteopaths educating about walking and posture?
Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Osteopaths are experts at analysing posture and spinal problems. An active spine is a healthy spine, and a healthy spine leads to a healthier life. The Osteopath will begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your posture. This can include:
- Detailed postural observation
- Muscle length, strength and muscle control testing
- Full joint assessment
- Evaluation of functional tasks
Osteopaths may improve your posture by:
- Improving muscular flexibility in your body
- Improving range of joint motion in the spine and extremities
- Providing instruction on ‘good’ posture
- Advising on ergonomics
- Providing exercises to strengthen postural muscles
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your spinal health, do not hesitate to contact your Osteopath.