As a personal trainer and an avid exerciser, I find the value in maintaining a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle ranging from all aspects of nutrition, regular exercise, flexibility routine, a positive and conscious mindset as well as a healthy spine! Having the vast knowledge or simple understanding of the full spectrum of total health can and will assist you greatly in your efforts of achieving a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle, leading you to many future successes. In my last few weeks of columns I have featured a variety of local fitness professionals with whom have all shared their knowledge and advice in hopes a difference can be made!
Today, my focus is to bring awareness to the often disregarded, however essential, spinal health! Spinal health may mean something different to everyone! What I know is, that if there is either regular or reoccuring stints of back pain, this is not normal! The demands we put on our body, whether we are working out, lifting and holding our growing kids, sitting for long periods of time, all with improper body mechanics, we can easily put strain onto the muscles that are attached to the spine, or the spine itself! It is a regular occurrence in my industry to see people living with back pain, believing its just the normal process of aging or demands of work and life! I am here to tell you it is not! Spinal health is not my specialty.. so rather than try to tell you what I know, I would like to introduce you to local Chiropracter, Dr. Kyle McLeod of Active Living Chiropractic to share some spinal health tips with you!
Dr. McLeod recieved his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and went on to attend chiropractic school at the Universty of Western States in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated with honors. During his time in school, Dr, McLeod recoginzed the benefits of incoprorating soft tissue techniques to compliment traditional chirporactic care, specifically emplying Gratson Technique and Active Release Technique (ART) as well as the new Functional Range Release (FR). Currently Dr. McLeod is the team chiropracter for the Okanagan Sun football team and can also be seen volunteering at many of the running races and triathlons around Kelowna. If you have any questions or want further information on how any of these soft tissue techniques could benefit you please feel free to email.
In my day-to-day practice there are certain questions regarding back pain that tend to pop up more than others. Usually they are along the lines of, "Why do I get lower back pain?" or, "What can I do to prevent lower back pain from recurring?" While the answers to these questions can get quite complex and vary greatly from patient to patient, there are a few simple tips that I recommend to my patients to start them in the right direction.
1) Get Moving!
As human beings we evolved to be a mobile species, however due to modern society, the vast majority of the population have been forced to sit at a desk for long periods of their day. Obviously this is not the ideal situation. To combat this, try getting up from your workstation once every half hour. Walk to the water cooler. Do a set of body weight squats or standing twists/bends. The point is, just get up and move around! These 'micro-breaks' will interrupt the body's soft tissues from adapting to a poor static posture and help to prevent postural strains from developing in a future injury.
2) Listen to your body!
This may seem like an overly simple tip, but injuries caused by merely 'over-doing it' are some of the most common issues my patients come to see me about. When doing repetitive tasks such as bending over to do yard work, going for a run or swinging a golf club, this can often cause a sharp, localized pain to occur. The best thing to do is to listen to your body's pain 'warning' and stop that particular activity. Battling through pain of this sharp, localized quality is typically not the best solution and it will likely result in creating a more serious injury. If, unfortunately an injury does occur, what is your next step? This brings me to my next tip...
3) Get evaluated!
If you are unsure of what may be causing your pain or you have been suffering for an uncomfortable amount of time, it's a good idea to seek professional advice. Making an appointment to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist can be an easy, quick and relatively inexpensive way of getting a proper diagnosis of the problem and finding out the recommended steps needed to get better. Receiving treatment for an injury before it becomes a chronic condition will reduce the chances of recurrence and save you a lot of pain and money down the road.
Be your own advocate for a healthier, pain free and fit lifestyle, and take the opportunity to strengthen or heal any new or recurring injuries with a visit with Dr. McLeod. Take the time to research or ask the professionals what kind of stretches or exercises you should be doing to ensure that you are keeping up with maintaining a strong and healthy spine and remember what efforts and time you put into it, you will receive the benefits of! Keep your eyes peeled for the next featured health professional!
If you have any comments, questions or training inquiries contact Kasie directly at 250-859-2431 or [email protected]