HAPPY HAPPY Friday :D
I hope you've had a HEALTHY week! Are you ready for the weekend?! I am! Bring it on!! I don't have any big commitments this weekend so I'm looking forward to some major chill time with great movies and lots of yummy snacks...half the snacks will be healthy...lol!
My daughter's Prom was last weekend and the pictures at the top of this post are with her date. They made a striking couple! Prom is full of fun, laughter, and memories that last a lifetime!!
This is also my same daughter who had a 9 hour surgery on February 27, 2015, exactly 11 weeks ago. She had surgery to correct a severe curve in her back caused by Scoliosis. She had 2 rods and 24 pins put in her back. She was in ICU for 4 nights and discharged from the hospital in a week. The first couple of weeks at home were intense but it's AMAZING how fast the human body bounces back!
Today, I'm posting about Listening To Our SPINE :)
Our spine does SOOOOO much for us! It allows us to exercise, pick up items, twist, turn, play, and the list goes on AND on! In short, our spine takes excellent care of us!!
The following is helpful information so you can keep your body in good shape!
Healthy spines have curves. Despite all the advice to "straighten up," your spine is happiest when it retains its natural contours. Hunching over a desk or leaning back too far flattens those curves, says Arya Nick Shamie, M.D., chief of spine surgery at the UCLA Spine Center. Turns out, bad posture causes more back woes then big injuries or genetics.
If you pulled a muscle near the spine and have a "back attack," you'll need to hobble to the freezer to get ice. Your body sent a cellular brigade to help things mend, so there's a biological traffic jam there now. Use ice for 20 minutes every couple of hours to reduce swelling. The next day, switch to heat, which brings nutrients and relaxation, and keep blood flowing with light walking and simple stretches.
If your back attack comes with shooting pain, numbness in the legs, or loss of bowel or bladder function, get to an emergency room ASAP. These may signal something serious, like a spinal cord injury. On the much less urgent side, if your run-of-the-mill ache doesn't get better after a few weeks, check with a doctor. Pain may be a symptom of something else, and a doctor may refer you for massage, physical therapy, or acupuncture.
Do You Know The Following?!
Cervical Spine: Its 7 vertebrae support the head. These have the widest range of motion of all the spine's segments.
Thoracic Spine: The 12 segments support the rib cage. It's the most rigid part of the spine, and this is where you'll see the least trouble.
Lumbar Spine: Because its 5 vertebrae are highly mobile and bear most of the weight of the upper body, this area is prone to the most wear and tear.
Vertebrae: 24 bones stack up like building blocks to form your spine. They hold you up and let you bend in all directions.
Disks: These 23 fibrous cushions have a gel-like center and a harder outer layer. Their jobs are to absorb shock and keep the bones from rubbing together.
Spinal Cord: Your body's main information highway, it relays messages from the brain to everywhere else via 31 pairs of nerves. Your vertebrae encase and protect it, like a jewelry box protects a ring.
Sacrum: 5 segments fuse into 1 before birth. This bone connects the spine to the lower half of the body.
Surprising Reasons Our Back May Hurt...
- Insomnia. This can up our risk of back pain by nearly 150%; it may hike stress levels, which can tense up back muscles.
- Smartphone. Tilting our head over a screen can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on our neck. Hold the screen up in front of you and send eyes downward to look at it.
- Laptop. Prop the screen on a stack of books and use a wireless keyboard.
- Having a belly. Each extra pound of tummy fat puts 3 pounds worth of strain on our spine.
- Smoking. People who puff are 3 times more likely to develop chronic back pain then nonsmokers.
When my daughter had her surgery, I had plenty of time to think. I learned a very important lesson! Never take advantage of having a healthy spine!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE exercising and having a fit body BUT I've learned to stop when my back hurts, evaluate where the source of pain is coming from, and take care of my spine in return :)
Have an AWESOME weekend!
See you on Monday!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist