The spine can be compared to the engine of your car. You don’t think
about the engine of a car until something malfunctions. A malfunctioning
engine can severely limit your ability to get around. Additionally the
malfunctioning engine can cause pain in your pocketbook.
Just like your car’s engine your spine needs regular maintenance
to run smoothly and if you don’t provide it on a regular basis it
will cost you in the long run. It is estimated that Americans spend $50
billion dollars on spine care every year and back ache is the number two
reason people have to miss work in the United States.
“As the saying goes, Prevention is always the best medicine,”
said Billy Naquin, Director of the Spine Center of Excellence at Thibodaux
Regional Medical Center. “Failure to maintain our spine can lead
to problems which can be difficult and expensive to treat.”
A maintenance program for your spine begins with exercise. Exercise for
your spine can be broken down into three forms: aerobic, flexibility,
and posture or core exercise.
Aerobic exercise can take many forms. It can be as simple as walking thirty
minutes a day, or as strenuous as a one hour high intensity aerobics class.
Whatever the form of aerobic exercise, it is important to start slowly
and gradually work into a full program. Aerobic exercise can help you
maintain or lose weight while it strengthens the core muscles of your
body.(walking thirty minutes a day three times a week can be one of the
best ways to prevent lower back pain.)
The second form of exercise is flexibility exercise. Just as the belts
and hoses in your car become brittle with age so do the muscles and ligaments
in your body. Tasks that were simple to perform when we were in our twenties
may become more difficult to perform as you age. Maintaining good muscle
flexibility is extremely important in maintaining a healthy spine especially
the hip and leg.
The third form of exercise is posture or core exercises. While not as widely
known as the other forms of exercise core strengthening has been viewed
as a key to maintaining a healthy spine and improving overall athletic
performance. Core exercises allow us to maintain a neutral spine while
we sit and perform lifting activities.
Always contact a physician or healthcare provider, if you want to start
an exercise program or if you have a spine related problem.
About Thibodaux Regional Health System
Thibodaux Regional Health System, a 185-bed acute care facility, provides
inpatient and outpatient care for the people of Lafourche and seven surrounding
parishes. Highly specialized services offered include Heart Surgery, Medical
and Radiation Oncology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Sports
Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, General, Laparoscopic, and
Bariatric Surgery, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Women’s Services,
Sleep Disorders, Behavioral Health, Home Health, and Inpatient and Outpatient
Physical Rehabilitation Services. Nationally recognized for quality care
and service, Thibodaux Regional has been named a Distinguished Hospital
by J.D. Power and Associates and has been honored with the Press Ganey
Summit Award for high levels of patient satisfaction. For more information, visit