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SITTING ON YOUR SURFBOARD AND SPINAL CURVES: HOW THESE TWO ARE RELATED AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH
The spinal column will be a new addition to Dade County Surf in an effort to help you live a more abundant, healthy, stress free life. It will focus on topics related to nutrition, lifestyle, training techniques and holistic healthcare topics.
SITTING ON YOUR SURFBOARD AND SPINAL CURVES:
HOW THESE TWO ARE RELATED AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH.
Our bodies were created by god to live on plant earth in such a way to withstand the effects of gravity. If your spine is in its normal position it should be straight looking at you from front to back. A good way to help you determine if it is straight is to look at your posture (the window we use to help determine abnormal curvature). From the front your ears should be the same height, head straight, shoulders level, and hips level. Looking at you from the side your ear should line up just forward of midline, hands should be in the center of your torso.
The two curves that are affected most by surfing are your lumbar and cervical curves. Your lumbar curve is the one at the base of your spine and is affected most by how you sit on your surfboard. You should do your best by sitting straight up with your chest out shoulders back in a relaxed posture. Your board may be totally submerged. If you sit on your board hunched over it reverses your lumbar curve, which makes your spine unstable causing subluxation (misalignment that puts pressure on vital spinal nerves that bring life and healing to your organs) and will also make your spine prone to arthritis or disc problems. It is possible to have a problem with no symptoms or you may have symptoms like sciatic pain, numbness or tingling, lack of sensation, muscle atrophy, or weakness. Organs that are affected this area include all organs related to digestion and reproductive organs. A good stretch to do on a regular basis is the “CAT” asana done in yoga. So…. don’t hunch over and sit up straight!
Your cervical curve is the most important curve in your spine due to the thickness of the spinal cord (more neurons) and its close proximity to the brain. It is affected by everything we do from sleeping to surfing and is the connection between your 8lb to 12lb head and your body. This relationship makes it very susceptible to injury. A normal cervical curve should measure close to 40? and should be in the shape of a backwards C. If the curve is lost or in the process of being lost it needs to be restored. If it is not restored you are almost assured to have degenerative arthritis effect you at some time in your life. Some symptoms of a problem include headaches, numbness, digestive problems, breathing problems and high blood pressure. A good stretch to do on a regular basis is a cervical extension stretch exhaling while you bring your head back.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to call 305-932-3773.
Dr. Craig Kaler