In clinical practice, it is often seen that some 30-year-old people have a “waist age” of 50 years old. After a comprehensive examination, it is discovered that the lumbar spine has degenerated prematurely or the intervertebral disc has herniated. Some people can’t help but ask, how come the lumbar discs are herniated when they sit in the office almost every day and have never done any physical work? You may not have thought that the more people sit in the office for a long time, the more likely they are to suffer from this disease!
It’s difficult to “sit” like this and not even think about “standing out”
Office workers often sit with their shoulders shrugged, chest held, and body leaning forward, which greatly increases the burden on the spine, especially the lumbar spine. The lumbar intervertebral disc is a very easily affected structure. The nucleus pulposus in it tends to move backward when the lumbar spine is flexed. In addition, the upper and lower vertebrae compress the intervertebral disc backwards, causing the pressure at the back of the intervertebral disc to increase abnormally. Once the nucleus pulposus breaks through the limitations of the annulus fibrosus and compresses the nerves behind it, it becomes what we often call a lumbar disc herniation.
Severe lumbar protrusion will produce a series of clinical symptoms such as waist pain and numbness of one or both lower limbs.
This is not over yet. Sitting in the same position for a long time will easily cause muscle strain, and the strength and endurance of the muscles will become worse and worse. All the weight of the upper body is pressed on the vertebrae, and the intervertebral discs are stressed more and more, and the wear and tear will naturally become more and more serious.
Lumbar protrusion and lumbar protrusion are two different things
Some people only undergo lumbar spine MRI examination for physical examination. The report form often appears with words such as “lumbar degenerative changes”, “intervertebral disc bulging”, “intervertebral disc herniation”, etc. In fact, there is no need to be overly nervous in this case.
Lumbar protrusion and lumbar protrusion are two different concepts. From the imaging, it can be seen that the intervertebral disc has a certain degree and a certain range of herniation, but there are no symptoms. If you just feel weak and weak in the waist and are prone to pain, you do not need to use medical treatment. You only need to pay attention to strengthening the exercises of the lower back muscles.
Lumbar disc herniation can be diagnosed only if the disc herniation compresses the dura mater and nerves, causing pain, numbness, weakness and other symptoms consistent with the imaging findings.
The correct sitting posture looks like this
People who work at their desks for a long time should adjust the height of their desks, chairs, and computer position. Keep the spine straight and maintain the normal physiological curves of the head, neck, and chest. It is best to have a backrest with a certain backward angle so that the lumbar spine can be supported and not suspended in the air, and the material should be hard or hard.
People who sit for a long time are recommended to get up and walk every 30 to 60 minutes, stretch their muscles, relax their body and mind, and do not maintain one posture for too long.
This is how you need to train your lower back muscles
The first step in treating lumbar disc herniation is to rest in bed so that the lumbar spine is no longer stressed, the intervertebral disc is no longer compressed, and its original elasticity and thickness can be restored. However, only exercise and maintaining the strength balance of the intervertebral disc are the most important means to prevent and treat lumbar disc herniation and lumbar disc herniation.
The “five-point support” exercise method is recommended here. This method can exercise the lower back muscles and is suitable for people with weak waist muscle strength. It is also suitable for early conservative treatment of lumbar protrusion and rehabilitation exercises after lumbar spine surgery.
First, lie on your back, with your arms naturally placed on your sides, your feet shoulder-width apart, your legs slightly bent, and your feet placed on the ground so that your knee joints form an obtuse angle greater than 90 degrees. Use your feet, elbows and the back of your head to support your body, push your abdomen upwards, and straighten your back like an arch bridge, with your body in an anti-arch shape. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return to the supine position. People with insufficient strength do not need to do it for a sufficient time and range.
Doing this 2 to 3 groups a day, each group 30 to 40 times, can exercise the strength of the waist muscles.
In addition, exercise should be strengthened. Swimming is recommended, especially breaststroke, which is the best way to exercise the lumbar spine. Swimming is suitable for people of any age, and it is a non-weight-bearing activity. It requires a large amount of exercise, is not easy to fatigue, and is not likely to cause accidental injuries. , can also relieve mental stress.
Text/Yue Jianning (Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University)