1. STAY ACTIVE – As the weather begins to cool down, we trade in our bathing suits for jeans and hooded sweatshirts, it starts to become easier to stay inside and kick up your feet. It is important to continue to participate in some form of physical activity daily - whether it be walking the dog, going to the gym, or just taking a stroll around the neighborhood. Our spines need to move!
2. TAKE BREAKS – The cooling weather can “chill out” our energy levels throughout the work day. As the day progresses, the muscles that stabilize our spines become fatigued, and we become more likely to injure ourselves as we can no longer maintain “good” posture. Treat yourself to a stretch break every hour, grab some water, and refocus. You'll back and neck will be more comfortable, and you will be more productive as a result.
3. AVOID “COUPLED MOVEMENTS” - When raking the leaves in the yard or picking up the biggest pumpkin in the patch, make sure you avoid bending and twisting at the same time. Coupling your movements puts your spine at greater risk for injury due to greater compressive forces on your spine. Keep you low back neutral and keep your core tight to better protect yourself when performing activities that require bending or pulling.
I hope everybody in the Hopewell, Princeton, Skillman, Pennington, Lawerenceville, and Lambertville communities enjoys the season – with lots of Pumpkin-flavored beverages, scenic walks, and a break from the heat – I know I will!
Dr. Brandon S. Osborne
Central Jersey Spine & Rehabilitation Center