Sit-heavy lifestyles result in weak glutes and tight hip flexors
Among the myriad ill-effects of sitting too much, weak glutes and tight hip flexors are two linked factors that cause the problems you feel first. We often treat people whose spinal health is compromised at its very base; weak glutes and tight hip flexors harm spinal health in the following ways:
- Compromise spinal stability and contribute to pelvic misalignment
- Increase the pressure on the lower back by weakening the spine’s supportive network of muscles.
- Contributes to muscular imbalance which can pull the spine out of alignment
- Make maintaining good posture difficult, if not impossible.
The insidious nature of pinched nerves
Pinched nerve is a blanket term that refers to many types of radiculopathy, the scientific term for irritation or injury of a nerve that causes feelings of pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Radiculopathy occurs near the root of the nerve, where it exits from the spinal cord. When muscles, bones, cartilage or tendons impinge upon the nerve, pain and dysfunction is a likely outcome. A further facet of radiculopathic pain is that it radiates; it can be felt in other parts of the body than its origin.
Your spine is made to move
It is a conglomerate of spinal motion segments, each with a subtly different role in aiding your body’s movement. But the important part is that your spine is made for movement, something for which it rarely gets enough credit. Yes it is a stabilizing force, but that stabilization is essential to life- the lumbar vertebrae work to support the weight of the upper body and prevent excessive movement from causing injury. Likewise, the cervical vertebrae provide for range of motion in the head and neck, while stabilizing the weight of the head in relation to the rest of the body. The thoracic vertebrae, for their part, are important influencers in the upper body’s range of motion, including: flexion, extension and rotation.
Massage is powerful
Massage, and more specifically massage therapy, is a very broad term that refers to myriad methods which aim to provide the same end benefit: mental and physical relaxation. The art, and science, of massage involves manipulating soft tissues and muscles with various motions and varying pressure, in order to:
- Release tension from the muscles
- Improve circulation to reduce muscular pain
- Boost immunity to fight off illness and injury
But there is also a mental health benefit; a professional and experienced set of hands in a peaceful setting can do wonders in terms of soothing away anxiety. Many of our patients report a calming effect that lasts for days after the massage, helping them sleep better and recoup more natural energy.
Why we put posture first
Posture underpins everything we do at Bay Area Spine Care Office. It´s role in wellness is essential and as such, your posture is indicative of your spinal health. That´s why every new person we meet receives a full physical examination that evaluates:
- Range of motion
Static postural analysis helps us determine your postural shortcomings including deviations and compensations in the musculature which can contribute to spinal degeneration and pain. Once we have a clear picture of how your posture is influencing your spinal health, we tailor it down to your particular lifestyle: are you seated most of the day, working at a computer; are you on your feet, bending over frequently? Your lifestyle determines your posture, yes; but your posture determines how you feel as a result of your lifestyle.
Why take on more weight than your body can handle
Trying to start any exercise plan can be difficult, especially from scratch. If you Google, “Help me get in shape,” god help you read through all the results. There are so many schools of thought when it comes to exercise that finding some semblance of agreement between all the blogs, beginner’s guides, and fitness-instructor-recommended articles can be impossible. At Bay Area Spine Care Office, we believe in exercise as a means of:
- Preventing spinal degeneration
- Controlling weight
- Improving the function of every system in the body
- Boosting energy
In summation, exercise helps you feel, look and perform better. Once you have convinced yourself of the value of exercise, the next important step is starting in a logical manner.