8 perfect spinal care: How mental wellbeing is related to spinal wellbeing?

8 perfect spinal care: How mental wellbeing is related to spinal wellbeing?

Spinal and spinal disorders are on the rise. A hectic lifestyle and lifestyle meant less time for physical exercise. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified that. With homework being the new norm in many IT-driven businesses, workers spend more on their computer system and laptops and even on their beds in some cases.

Another aspect that contributed to our sedentary lifestyle was binge-watching famous series on Web platforms. All this took a serious toll on our back and spine. But do you know that our backbone wellbeing is also connected to our mental health?

On the occasion of the World Mind Health day, Dr Himabindu, PhD, Art of Living and Spine Care Yoga & Posture Program trainer will give you some insights and feedback on this relation.

Our elders also tell us to take care of ourselves and not to sludge. There may be some reality to it now, scientists accept. But we prefer to neglect the basic precautions and damage our spine in the long run, due to our penchant for comfort. It is also advisable to take regular breaks and work at the desk. Some findings are equal to the damage caused by smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

8 perfect spinal care: How mental wellbeing is related to spinal wellbeing?

It is not a mere coincidence that the pandemic has been rising both in terms of history and mental health issues.

Several studies have recorded the mental health implications of a sedentary lifestyle.

Future studies have revealed a role in acute and chronic pain in psychological variables. Stress, concern and emotion were all found to be major contributors to pain, cognitive functioning and feeling of loss.

Individuals that spend the most time on their PC / laptops frequently neglect their posture can trigger a number of back ailments, such as intervertebral prolapse, herniated disc, sciatica, neck pain, cervical or even slipped records in severe circumstances. Many of the slipped disc cases are from the low lumbar region so that the effect of the incorrect posture on the back is again underlined.

Weak posture induces distortion of the spine’s natural curvature. Straightening the spine is also a factor in reverse wear and glitter discs. When the whole body is continually suffering from discomfort, it is plunged into a range of malaise and mental wellbeing.

In combination with the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF), a fluid coloured between the brain and the spinal cord, the relationship between spinal and mental wellbeing can be clarified. By supplying buoyancy, clearing waste products from the brain and distributer of essential substances, the CSF protects the brain tissue. A CSF state in the spinal cord is said to be causing inactive lifestyle.iv This leads to low central strength and muscle imbalances. The degenerative changes are speeded up for a long time to sit.

These issues in the back often cause stress, anxiety and depression in the mental health field. In certain cases, a sedentary lifestyle causes obesity, which exacerbates physical discomfort and makes the disease worse.

Researchers in Michigan Medicine has found that adults with spinal cord injury are more likely to experience psychiatric illness relative to those without spinal injury in a longitudinal study performed in the Mayo clinical procedure.

These symptoms in the back lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Mental health problems. In certain instances, obesity results in a sedentary lifestyle that exacerbates physical discomfort and aggravates the psychological condition.

8 perfect spinal care: How mental wellbeing is related to spinal wellbeing?

Researchers from Michigan Medicine found that adults with backbone injury were more likely to become mentally unstable compared to individuals who did not experience spinal damage in a longitudinal study conducted in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study also showed the rising risk of diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders, cancer, arthritis, liver and circulatory disease among spinal cells suffering as well.

8 tips for perfect care of the spine

Here’s how every day you can secure your spine.

Try to sit in a neutral pelvic (as seen in the figure) role. Make sure your buttocks are put with zero gaps on the back of your chair. This is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to sit correctly.

8 tips for perfect spinal care

The natural curvature of your spine is maintained by keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned. Any deviation from this can impact the natural curvature of the spine. This puts excess stress on the spine resulting in pain while also increasing the risk of injury.

8 tips for perfect spinal care

When sitting at the desk, try to keep your knees aligned with hips. This is useful in maintaining a neutral spine position. Avoid sitting in a chair that’s too low or too high, as they can lead to back pain and stiffness.

8 tips for perfect spinal care

Evenly distribute your weight over both hips and avoid leaning to one side. It is advisable to keep both feet flat on the floor and use a footstool if required.

8 tips for perfect spinal care

For work efficiency and best results, keep your forearms parallel against the floor resting on the desk. Keeping forearms parallel to the floor helps to reduce stress on the upper joints. Ensure the keyboard and mouse are kept at an adequate distance from the body so that one doesn’t have to continually reach out to use them. 

8 tips for perfect spinal care

Place your Computer Monitor at least 18-24 inches from your face with the top 1/3rd monitor at eye level. If your computer monitor is positioned incorrectly, it will place excess strain on the neck. It is suggested that the computer be adequately positioned to avoid back and forth.

Ensure that your head is not protruding forward. As per Research, for every inch the head moves forward, there’s an additional 10 pounds of weight that gets placed on the neck. Protruding head forward when seated could give rise to neck and back pain, muscle spasms, arthritis of the neck, insomnia, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue, restricted breathing, headaches and migraine, numbness, tingling in arms and hands, and temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

Take periodic breaks and stretch out. One can explore setting a timer and take a break every 50 minutes to do simple stretches and walk around your office. A timer could be set on your mobile or on smartwatch/fitness tracker which are increasingly becoming popular nowadays. You can even consider hydrating yourself enough and taking deep breaths in the break. This could do you a world of good by making you feel energized and refreshed. 

Simple, easy to follow exercises that can be done in your office include:

  • Neck range of motion (rotation, lateral flexion and flexion)
  • Shoulder shrugs
  • Ankle pumps
  • Lunges
  • Doorway stretch
  • Calf raises

To conclude, ignoring one’s spine could be really detrimental to our mental state and peace of mind. By being active, paying attention to our posture and taking regular breaks in between can help us stay energetic and fresh. One can even plan to walk on the terrace or garden/park covering our face with a mask while practising social distancing. Lockdown doesn’t necessarily have to mean a lockdown on our health. This is a time to rejuvenate, introspect and take good care of our state of being.

8 perfect spinal care: How mental wellbeing is related to spinal wellbeing?

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