There are some parts of your body that you are acutely aware of. For instance, your eyes or your hands. A small piece of sand scratching your cornea or a papercut on the tip of your finger is so uncomfortable and painful that you just can’t ignore it. But your back is a body part that people tend to take for granted. Sure, it gets sore, but usually after a good night’s sleep, it seems to bounce back. Back pain also develops slowly, there’s no distracting sting; instead, the dull ache tends to come and go, each time returning stronger. Till one day…
The Way You Stand and Move
Standing and walking seem like two of the most basic human activities. After all, babies developm these skills and the first step or stand is considered a growing milestone. For whatever reason though, the older we get, the more we seem to forget how to stand properly. Heavy backpacks hunch us over. Desk jobs mean slouching in a chair all day. Before you know it, your posture makes you look like an old person with a potbelly and no butt.
The Aging Back
Abusing your back when you’re young tends to come back and bite you later on in life. Conditions such as swayback or flatback can lead to pain and discomfort when you’re walking or standing. Staring at your phone all day leads to kyphosis which looks like you’re hunched over all the time. And then, there’s the forward head where your cervical spine bends forward. It’s no wonder that as you age, you start experiencing more stiff necks, tight shoulders, aching backs, and pain doing ordinary, daily activities. Bad mattresses and pillows can aggravate the already strained and tired soft tissue holding your spine together.
Stenosis and Herniated Disks
Bad posture and not taking care of your vertebrae can end in compression of the spinal cord. Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, leads to numbness and pain. Herniated disks happen when the cushion between vertebrae give out, irritating nearby nerves with the jelly that oozes out. If you have a less severe case, these conditions can be reversed with NSAIDs and physical therapy. More serious cases require surgery.
Celebrate the Vertebrae
We’ve got every type of vertebra you can imagine to help you 1) remind yourself to take care of your spine and 2) celebrate any small victories as you overcome back pain. Our collection includes the cervical vertebra, the lumbar vertebra, the thoracic vertebra, the atlas, and the entire spine. These pieces make great gifts for back pain battlers, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and starry-eyed pre-med students.
written by Science with Evie