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Strengthen your spine: Expert insights from Dr. Kade Huntsman

Learn the following exercises to help keep your spine healthy and relieve back pain.

March 05, 2024

In today's modern world, many of us find ourselves spending hours on end in a seated position, whether it's at work, school, or even during leisure activities like reading or gaming. The consequences of prolonged sitting can take a toll on our spine's health, resulting in stiffness and discomfort. However, the good news is that we can combat these effects with stretches and spine-strengthening exercises. In this article, we'll delve into the importance of maintaining a flexible spine and the expert insights provided by Dr. Kade Huntsman, a spine surgeon at St. Mark’s Hospital.

The impact of prolonged sitting on your spine

"What's the first thing you do when you stand up after an hour of watching TV or a long drive? You stretch. That's because even just an hour of sitting can cause some stiffness in the spine." — Dr. Huntsman

Indeed, our daily routines often involve sitting for extended periods, which can result in stiffness and discomfort. To counteract these effects, it's crucial to incorporate spine-strengthening exercises into our lives.

Expert advice: The role of exercise in spine health

"The most effective way to improve spine health is regular exercise, which includes core strengthening. Improving the strength and endurance of the muscles that surround your spine helps prevent injury and recover quicker from back pain." — Dr. Huntsman 

Dr. Huntsman emphasizes the significance of regular exercise, particularly exercises that target core strength. By strengthening the muscles that support your spine, you not only reduce the risk of injury but also enhance your ability to recover from back pain. Additionally, paying attention to your posture and head/neck positions is essential, especially in our technology-driven era.

Combatting the effects of prolonged sitting

  • Regular exercise: Incorporate brisk walking, tai chi, yoga, or Pilates into your routine to strengthen your back and maintain flexibility.
  • Take breaks: Whether at work or school, remember to take short breaks to stretch and change positions.
  • Mind your posture: Be mindful of your posture while sitting or standing to prevent spine-related issues.
  • Gentle spine-strengthening exercises: Integrate spine-strengthening exercises into your daily routine to build strength and flexibility in your back and core muscles.

Addressing different types of back pain 

When it comes to back pain, it's not limited to one area of the spine. While we often think of low back or lumbar pain, prolonged sitting can also impact the upper back (thoracic spine) and neck. Dr. Huntsman warns that excessive screen time, such as staring at a computer or mobile device for extended periods, can stress these areas and lead to discomfort. This phenomenon is often referred to as "tech neck."

The importance of proper posture and lifting techniques

"Most back injuries result from poor posture or improper lifting techniques, which can lead to sprains or a herniated disc. These conditions may require injections or surgery for relief." — Dr. Huntsman.

Dr. Huntsman highlights the role of proper posture and lifting techniques in preventing back injuries. Simple adjustments in your daily habits, such as maintaining good posture and using correct lifting techniques, can significantly contribute to spine health.

Start your journey to a stronger spine today 

If you've been experiencing persistent or severe back pain, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional. However, if you're in good health and have recently noticed mild back stiffness, you can begin incorporating gentle spine-strengthening exercises into your daily routine. These exercises aim to enhance the strength and flexibility of your back and core muscles, providing support to your spine.

"The spine is the critical pillar of the body that allows us to stand and walk upright. The consequences of small behaviors and minor injuries can multiply over time and lead to trouble later in life, which is why it's important to remember to use proper posture when lifting something heavy, avoiding unnecessary stress on the spine, and keeping the spine strong and flexible," says Dr. Kade Huntsman.

To start your journey to a healthier spine, consider the following spine-strengthening exercises as part of your daily routine:

  • Leg Extensions
  • Trunk Rotation
  • Pelvic Tilt/Bridge
  • Leg Lifts
  • Cat/Cow Stretches
  • Use a Foam Roller or Tennis Ball for Muscle Release

By incorporating these exercises into your daily life, you can relieve back pain and improve your overall spinal health. Remember that the key to success is making long-term changes in your habits. Dr. Huntsman encourages everyone to identify enjoyable activities and exercises that promote an active lifestyle.

To receive personalized guidance on your spine health and address any persistent issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kade Huntsman at St. Mark’s Hospital

Schedule an appointment now!

Call to schedule: 801-715-4152

March 05, 2024
St. Mark's Hospital

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