Preventing spinal fractures caused by trauma sounds like an impossible task. Are you supposed to prevent car accidents or sports injuries? While you can’t control some events, you can take some precautions that should help protect you.
Always wear your seat belt when you’re in a car. If you’re in an accident, the seat belt and the air bag are designed to protect you, especially your head, neck, and chest. To get the full protection from the seat belt and the airbag, you should adjust your seat so that there’s 10 inches between you and the airbag. That will give it enough room to deploy without causing other damage.
If your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis or another condition (e.g., cancer), you may break a bone from even a little fall. Therefore, you should “fall proof” your house by:
- removing throw rugs you could slip on
- making sure pathways and hallways are free of clutter
- putting skid-proof backing on area rugs
- using a non-skid rubber mat in the shower
- making sure stairs are well-lit
To avoid more severe falls—such as falling off a ladder—always use caution when doing potentially dangerous things (cleaning the gutters, repainting the house, fixing the roof-anything where you’re up high).
Some sports—such as football—have a higher risk of spinal fracture. When participating in any sport, always use safety equipment.
Other “dangerous for your spine” sports and activities are:
- rock climbing
- bungee jumping
- horse riding (especially jumping)
We’re not saying that you have to avoid any sports or activities that might be dangerous for your spine, but you should use caution when participating.
And you should teach your children to be cautious. Make sure they know to never dive into shallow water. Always make them wear helmets while bike riding, even if they’re just riding down the street. Don’t let them jump on a trampoline unsupervised, and don’t let them use a trampoline that doesn’t have a net around it. Model safe habits for your kids, and they will learn to take care of their spines, too.