The spine is an integral part of the skeletal system and, as such, has the function of supporting our body, protecting some very delicate internal parts, for example the spinal cord, and contributing to the movement possibilities of the torso. If we look at the vertebral column in profile we notice the presence of curves, called physiological , as they are completely natural and necessary to better distribute the load on the vertebral discs and ensure greater mobility to the vertebral tracts. The curves are called lordosis and kyphosis and alternate with each other (click here to learn more).
Starting from the top we will meet the cervical lordosis, which will be followed by the dorsal kyphosis, passing to the lumbar lordosis, to conclude with the sacral kyphosis. The lordoses are curved with posterior concavity, kyphosis with posterior convexity. If we lie on the ground supine (chest up), we will therefore perceive a void at the level of the cervical and lumbar tract, while the dorsal and sacral tract will adhere better to the ground. These curves must be maintained to ensure the correct health of our spine, despite the advancement of age, any trauma and above all avoiding incorrect postures .
Every day, in fact, by assuming wrong positions, often even without thinking about it, we put our spine at risk, thus increasing the possibility of feeling pain due to muscle contractures or crushing of the vertebral discs, the pads that are located between a vertebra and the other, with risks of disc herniation.
Most of the activities we do during the day and the force of gravity lead us to tilt our torso forward; we think, for example, of when we eat at the table, or when we sit on the sink to wash ourselves, or when we write or read at the desk, or even while we iron, all examples that immediately convey the idea of how often we are bent forward. By doing so we accentuate some physiological curves more, reducing the others and therefore “decompensating” our spine .
Self-control is therefore important, which can arise precisely from the input “up with life!”. We restore the right position, positioning our torso well in an upright position, both standing and sitting . Among other things, an excessive forward closure is also typical of individuals with a particularly insecure and withdrawn character. Keeping our eyes high, supporting the head and the back correctly, will make us appear more convincing and more involved in life.
Here are some practical tips for maintaining correct posture:
- every time we have to lower ourselves to pick up something from the ground, it is necessary to bend the lower limbs , trying not to bend the spine, thus safeguarding the inter-cerebral discs, using the muscles of the lower limbs, by nature larger and more powerful, than the paravertebral muscles;
- if for work or for study we are forced to sit at the desk for a long time, we use the right height of the table, or even better of the chair . It is important to ensure the correct ratio between the height of the chair and that of the table, also taking into account the height of the individual (in school classrooms, for example, the desks are all the same, regardless of the height of the students!) . In general, between the height of the chair and that of the table there must be about 20cm, and if it is not possible to vary the standard height of the support surface, the easier it will be to manage the height of the chair, using adjustable chairs;
- advice for students, who should change their position in the classroom at least monthly, to avoid incorrect postures to see the blackboard and to follow the teacher to the desk;
- when we are seated, the “rule of right angles” always applies , ie about 90 ° between foot and leg, between leg and thigh and between thigh and abdomen;
- we put on the pants or tights while sitting, keeping the torso erect and taking advantage of the mobility of the hip , thus avoiding the forward flexion of the torso from the standing position;
- pay attention to posture even during small or large housework. At the ironing board, for example, let us help to keep the torso erect by placing one foot, which will alternate with the other, on a small stool, placed under the board itself.
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