Guest Post: How Disuse Syndrome Determines Our Health

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Author Bio:

Dr. Bae is changing the way spinal surgery is done. He is currently pioneering a study on the use of stem cells for spinal restoration, and is one of only five doctors to receive a significant grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a Spine Institute physician on your side, pain won’t stop you from doing the things you love. Schedule an appointment at (310) 828-7757. You can find him on FB, Google+Twitter and YouTube.


We normally sit to eat dinner, watch television, drive our cars, write our articles, do work, and relax. Research has proven how sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to our health. However, one might not realize just how extensively a sedentary lifestyle affects them until they are diagnosed with something called Disuse Syndrome.



 Disuse Syndrome is associated with the negative consequences that occur to the body and mind during prolonged periods of inactivity. The body and mind begin to deteriorate when they are not used.



 The harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle are as follows:



1. Physical health. Occurring throughout the body, inactivity causes havoc to nearly every internal system including the skeletal, cardiovascular, endocrine, and muscular systems. To not move means to increase the chance of getting osteoporosis and elevating systolic blood pressure. Muscles atrophy when in disuse, and since the heart is a muscle, it too gets weak without appropriate amounts of exercise. Therefore, the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases also increases exponentially.



2. Mental health. It should not be surprising that a body in motion is a mind in motion, but for many, the psycho-somatic association is not immediately realized. Inactivity leads to the development of serious mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and dementia.



3. Decreased metabolism. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to the onset of diabetes. Additionally, inactivity leads to a lower percentage of calories burned. If the cardiovascular system has slowed and muscles are not metabolizing energy through work, the body loses its ability to process blood glucose and insulin.



4. Decreased flexibility. After sitting for hours at the computer, one may notice a tightness in neck, shoulders, and spine. Movement does a number of things, like lubricating the joints in synovial fluid, pumping blood to oxygenate the muscles, and strengthening the sections of the body that get weaker when sitting (like the abdominals and glutes). A lack of flexibility in these regions invites pain and inflammation.



 Disuse syndrome, and the pain that comes from it, can be treated naturally. There are steps you can take today to offset inactivity and avoid chronic neck, back, and spine pain. The first is getting up from you chair or the sofa. Get moving. No matter your age or fitness level, if you increase your physical activity by 30 minutes daily, you can ward off metabolic issues, increase blood flow, strengthen your heart, and build stronger bones. If you are in an office, stand up at your desk. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Do yoga poses or calisthenics.





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