World Spine Day

spine1October 16th is World Spine Day, held each year as an integral part of Action Week by the Bone and Joint Decade to raise awareness about musculoskeletal health. This year’s theme is “Straighten Up and Move,” promoting good posture and proper body movement in maintaining good spinal health.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, published by The Lancet in 2012, over 630 million people worldwide suffer from back pain. The same study noted that back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide as well as one of the most common reasons for missed work. Knowing all of this information, the organizers of World Spine Day hope to inform more people about the widespread nature of the problem, and simple changes we can make to prevent spinal conditions.

The organizers compiled helpful information into a brochure with different versions available for children and adults. They designed a program based on the “Straighten Up and Move” theme that is a three-minute spinal health program designed to help children feel their best. These simple exercises should be performed daily to promote healthy spines and to get children into the habit of being conscious of spine health. Time is spent in health class covering how to keep kids safe from germs, and back health is just as important.

Promoting good posture and body awareness both fall under conservative care. This category of care includes any methods of care that are non-invasive. Many aspects of conservative care are preventative, with the hope of reducing your chance of developing back problems. Some of the conservative care tips recommended by the American Chiropractic Association for preventing back pain include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight: Reduces the stress on the spine and provides nutrients to support healthy cells
  • Remaining active: Promotes fitness and strengthens the areas of the back that support the spine
  • Avoiding prolonged inactivity: Even if you are experiencing pain, moving around will keep blood flowing to the area and can actually decrease pain
  • Warming up or stretching before participating in physical activities: Avoid muscle tension and rigidity that can lead to strains or sprains
  • Maintaining proper posture: When you sit or stand straight the pressure on your spine is reduced
  • Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes: Heeled shoes disrupt the proper alignment of the spine
  • Sleeping on a mattress of medium firmness: Keeps your spine straight while you are sleeping
  • Lifting with your knees: Your back is not equipped to handle lifting
  • Quitting smoking: Promotes good circulation

Chiropractic manipulation is a non-invasive option that many people turn to before resorting to surgery. A chiropractic adjustment realigns the spine and can be very helpful in reducing back pain. Medications and injections are also available for treating back pain. When these options are unsuccessful, surgery is available to correct the anatomical issue that is causing pain.

Dr. Arien Smith of Advanced Neurosurgery Associates is a fellowship trained spine surgeon with experience in treating various spinal conditions. He has extensive experience in treating scoliosis surgically. If you are experiencing back pain and want to learn more about ways of managing your pain conservatively and surgically, visit our website or call 201-289-5104.