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Preventing musculoskeletal injuries: A guide for active individuals

Dr. Kade Huntsman shares information on understanding musculoskeletal injuries and provides tips for preventing them.

February 23, 2024

Leading an active lifestyle is undoubtedly beneficial for overall health, but it also comes with the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly concerning the spine. To shed light on this topic, we consulted with Dr. Kade Huntsman, a distinguished spine surgeon. In this blog post, we'll explore tips and exercises to help prevent common musculoskeletal injuries, with a primary focus on maintaining a healthy spine, especially for athletes and active individuals.

Understanding musculoskeletal injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries encompass a wide range of conditions affecting the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other elements of the musculoskeletal system. These injuries can be particularly concerning for athletes and active individuals due to the physical demands of their pursuits. Dr. Huntsman emphasizes the significance of preventive measures:
"Preventing musculoskeletal injuries should be a priority for anyone leading an active lifestyle. These injuries can lead to pain, limited mobility, and potentially require surgical intervention. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk significantly," says Dr. Huntsman.

Tips for preventing musculoskeletal injuries

1. Proper warm-up and stretching:

Before engaging in any physical activity, it's crucial to warm up your muscles and perform stretching exercises. This prepares your body for the demands of exercise and reduces the risk of strains and sprains.

2. Strengthen core muscles:

A strong core is essential for maintaining spinal health. Incorporate exercises like planks, bridges, and leg raises into your routine to strengthen the muscles that support your spine.

3. Maintain proper posture:

Whether you're at work, sitting at a desk, or engaged in physical activities, maintaining good posture is crucial for spine health. Dr. Huntsman advises, "Be mindful of your posture and make adjustments as needed to avoid unnecessary strain on your spine."

4. Stay hydrated and eat well:

Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for overall health and can contribute to the strength and flexibility of your musculoskeletal system. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are particularly important for bone health.

5. Gradual progression:

When increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts, do so gradually. Rapidly escalating your activity levels can strain your muscles and increase the risk of injury.

Exercises for a healthy spine

1. Pelvic tilts:

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor, tilting your pelvis upward. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10-15 times.

2. Cat-cow stretch:

Start on your hands and knees, inhale as you arch your back (cow pose), and exhale as you round your back (cat pose). Repeat this motion for 1-2 minutes to improve spinal flexibility.

3. Superman exercise:

Lie face down with arms extended in front of you. Raise your arms, chest, and legs off the ground while keeping your neck in a neutral position. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

4. Child's pose:

Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Extend your arms forward and rest your forehead on the ground. Hold for 20-30 seconds to stretch and relax the spine.

5. Seated spinal twist:

Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Bend one knee and place the foot on the outside of the opposite thigh. Twist your upper body toward the bent knee while keeping your spine straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side to improve spinal mobility.

Take the first step towards injury prevention

A proactive approach to injury prevention is essential for anyone leading an active lifestyle. By following these tips and incorporating spine-strengthening exercises into your routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and enjoy a more active and pain-free life.

Preventing musculoskeletal injuries, especially those related to the spine, is vital for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Dr. Kade Huntsman and his team at St. Mark’s Hospital specialize in spine health and injury prevention. To explore personalized strategies for preventing musculoskeletal injuries and maintaining a healthy spine, schedule an appointment with Dr. Huntsman at St. Mark’s Hospital.

Schedule an appointment now! Call to Schedule 801-715-4152

Dr. Kade Huntsman
Dr. Kade Huntsman

Dr. Kade Huntsman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in treatment of the spine and practicing in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Huntsman specializes in advanced, minimally invasive procedures that allow patients to recover faster. He uses the latest generation of high tech robotic assistance during surgery, which allows him to perform fusion surgeries far less invasively and with much more accuracy. Among other spine procedures and conditions, Dr. Huntsman cares for degenerative conditions of the spine. Scoliosis, spine trauma, intricate spinal surgeries such as cervical spine disc replacements, lateral approaches to the lumbar spine, spinal fusion surgeries, microdiskectomy and decompression procedures for nerve roots. You can learn more about Dr. Huntsman here.

February 23, 2024
St. Mark's Hospital

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