You might know that your spine provides your body with support, as well as structure, but did you know that it helps protect some of your organs? Your spine, made up of 33 bones or vertebrae, as well as disks, nerves, and soft tissue, stretches from your neck all the way down to your tailbone. Some spine myths that have been around can have you believing misconceptions about this part of your body. The following are some myths about spines, along with the truth behind them.
Bed Rest Helps Your Spine Recover
When you have back pain from a pulled muscle, injury, or other cause, lying in bed might seem like the right way to handle it. However, don’t be surprised to hear your doctor recommend doing some safe exercises and spending time on your feet. Bed rest can actually make it harder for your back to heal.
Spinal Injuries Are Always the Cause of Back Pain
Spinal injuries from car accidents, slips and falls, or other incidents are a common cause of back pain, but they’re not the only one. You can have back pain due to deterioration in your spinal discs, which happens over time. Back pain can also occur due to underlying health conditions that affect the joints, including your spine, such as osteoarthritis.
Stress Can’t Affect Your Spine
Stress can have a detrimental effect on your mental well-being and lower your immune system. What you might not know is that it can affect your spine as well. Being under stress, especially chronic stress, can put you at a higher risk of back pain.
Sitting Up Straight Is Always Good for Your Spine
Although slouching in your chair isn’t good for your spine, sitting up straight all the time can be bad as well. Sitting straight in your chair for extended periods of time can end up straining your spine, leading to back pain or other problems. You should avoid sitting too long, and lean back from time to time while sitting to ease strain on your spine.
Your Spine Can’t Handle Heavy Lifting
Should you really avoid lifting any heavy objects? You should definitely avoid leaning over to pick up heavy items, since this puts a significant amount of strain on your spine. Squatting down and lifting heavy items can help prevent spinal problems, since this lifting technique makes use of your knee muscles rather than your back muscles.
Firm Mattresses Are Best for Your Spine
Sleeping on a firm or hard mattress might seem like the best surface for your spine. However, sleeping on a medium-firm rather than a firm mattress has been associated with reduced back pain. Keep in mind that the best mattress for you will depend on certain factors, such as whether or not you tend to have back pain, how severe it is, and what your sleep habits are like.
If you’re having back pain, contact Huntington Orthopedics to schedule an appointment. Our team can assess back pain, determine the cause, and come up with a treatment plan for it.