Why exercise is so important for your spine…

ship masts

Spinal Arthritis Treatment

The way that I try to explain this to all my patients is that our spine is like the mast on a ship.  The spine is pretty static by itself. In fact, by itself, the spine could only support about 35-40lbs.  Of course, we weigh a lot more than that. On a ship, the mast would surely break if it were not for the strong rope supports and riggings that keep the mast in place and upright.  In a similar vein, the muscles of our core and lumbar spine are critical for helping to support the spine and keep it aligned correctly.  If we allow ourselves to get deconditioned either as a result of an inactive lifestyle or deconditioning is forced on us by prolonged illness, the spine suffers.  In these instances, where the ropes (muscles) are weakend, the spine itself must bear loads that it cannot easily tolerate.  We will start to see failures of the discs or facet joints or accelerated arthritis.

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Is for this reason that life spine says that it is absolutely critical that we engage our core with exercise a couple times a week to keep the muscles surrounding the spine strong and supportive.  It’s important to encourage our parents and loved ones to keep active and do some form of exercise that they enjoy on a daily basis.  Exercise that is not fun will never be kept up with. Enjoyable exercise like a fun sport or something that is challenging will be easier to adhere to.

For women, I recommend dance. For men, I recommend a team sport, but each individual should at the minimum do something!