14 Jul Avoiding Disc Injury This Summer: Tips & Tricks for Playing Smart
Avoiding Disc Injuries
Whether it’s a bulging disc, herniated disc, or disc extrusion, injuries to the spine can be painful and dangerous. In addition, these types of injuries do not always happen suddenly. They can be repetitive stress injuries as well.
But regardless of how severe the disc injury or how it happens, many can be avoided. Proper spinal care can help reduce your risk of injury.
At Travis Chiropractic, we are experts in spinal health. We believe in keeping you and your family in total health all year long. This summer, with all the activities, sports, and play you and your family are involved in, you want to stay healthy. Here are our tips and tricks for avoiding spine injuries this summer.
Plan your activities.
It’s fun to just take off and go sometimes, but any activity that isn’t planned can be risky. Make sure you think ahead and prepare for your safety and health. Here are some things to consider when planning summer activities:
1. The right kind of shoes.
This can help you avoid falls as well as back fatigue. Many kinds of injuries can result from doing activities in the wrong shoes.
2. Time to stretch if necessary.
If your activity requires exertion, don’t just jump into it. Take time to stretch and prepare your muscles for whatever you’re doing. Those muscles are protecting your spine and other joints. Give them time to get ready!
3. Choose the right activity level for your family.
Don’t push yourself or your family too hard, and be aware of what’s available. For instance, many hiking trails offer shorter routes that might be more appropriate for some family members.
Prepare your body.
The best protection system your spine has is your musculature. Strengthening the muscles in the back can help you significantly reduce your risk of disc injury. Here are our favorite exercises to strengthen muscles in your lower back. Do these every other day for a stronger back and safer spine!
1. The Bridge
Lie flat on your back on the floor. Bring your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders on the floor. With your hands by your sides, press your feet into the floor as you slowly lift your buttocks off the ground. Lift your buttocks until your body is in one straight line. Lower your hips to the floor and rest for 1 minute.
Repeat this up to 15 times, up to 3 sets.
2. The Drawing In Maneuver
The transverse abdominal muscle is important in the support of the spine and abdomen. This exercise is great for strengthening this muscle. It may seem too simple to be so powerful, but it’s not that easy and it works!
Again, start by lying on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Lay your arms and hands by your side. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, pull your bellybutton into your spine. This engages your abdominal muscles. Do not allow your hips to tilt, but keep your buttocks flat. When you have reached your limit, hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this 5 times, up to 3 sets.
3. Lying Lateral Leg Raises
Lie on one side, keeping the leg on the ground slightly bent. Engage your core by drawing your bellybutton into your spine. Raise the top leg without moving the rest of your body. Hold for 2 seconds at the top.
Do this exercise 10 times on each side, 3 sets.
4. The Superman
Lie on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your hands above your head and point your toes. Keep your legs straight and keep looking at the floor. Now arch your back and lift your feet, head, and hands off the floor about 6 inches. Reach forward with your hands and back with your feet. Hold for 2 seconds then rest.
Repeat this 10 times, 3 sets.
5. The Partial Curl
Strong abdominal muscles are one of the most important factors in a healthy back. Use this common exercise to keep a strong core.
Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest. Pull in your belly button. Keeping your neck straight, raise your shoulders off the floor a couple of inches, curling the abdomen and back. Hold for one second, then slowly relax back onto the floor.
Repeat 10 times, 3 sets.
Use good judgment as you lead your family’s summer fun. Know your own limitations and the limitations of your kids. Find activities that everyone can enjoy. If you’re going to do physically challenging activities, always stretch and make sure you’re physically ready.
It’s hot out there! Be prepared for the heat and sun with plenty of water and sunscreen. And plan for plenty of breaks from the sun and heat.
Eat right this summer. Eat lots of fresh fruit and other high-water-content foods. Get plenty of good protein for good muscle tone, even if you’re watching your weight. And substitute water for some of the coffee, soda, or alcohol. These tend to dehydrate our muscles, making us more injury-prone.
Finally, get regular Chiropractic exams. The whole family can benefit from regular spinal exams. Don’t wait until someone is in pain to call us. At Travis Chiropractic, we believe in prevention, not just relief. Call us at 918-224-2225 today for a free consultation.
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