Spending a whole day at work sitting behind a desk could make us feel bored and trapped, but did you know it could also lead to spinal injuries? We sat down for an interview with Dr. Tae Kim, a resident chiropractor at Natural Healings at Chinatown Point to find out more about spinal health.

Thanks Dr. Tae for speaking with us! Can you start by telling us a little bit on your job as a chiropractor and what it involves?

A chiropractor’s role is to naturally restore spinal movement back into joints that have “malfunctioned” and deviated from their normal alignment over time. The medical name for the misalignment and improper joint movement of the spine is called Subluxation. Subluxation causes the spine to place tremendous pressure upon spinal nerves in the affected area and this eventually leads to aches, pains and even organ-related problems dependent upon that specific location in the spine. The process of spinal correction is performed using the hands with a specific amount of speed and force to restore the body’s ability to heal and function at optimal level without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Is there a need for everyone to include chiropractic treatment as part of his/hers health plan?

Chiropractic is an excellent choice of care which restores the body’s natural ability to heal and function at optimal level and prevent disease.

Many people believe that they need to seek health care only when they are in pain. But the reality is that when your body feels the symptoms, sometimes it can be too late. A good but drastic example would be cancer. At its beginning stages, nobody feels the effects of cancer cells but deep inside our body, they are multiplying. And once it starts to invade our body, we start to feel the symptoms. Spinal health is the same, whether you’re in pain or not, it’s a good idea to have your spine checked regularly to prevent diseases and promote Wellness.

Desk-bound jobs affecting our spinal health

Why are the reasons spinal-based injuries occur for people who are in the office for long hours most of the week?

Sitting. Desk bound people are forced to sit prolonged hours. When we sit for long hours, tremendous pressure is applied onto our spine and its associated structures.

Poor posture. As we work throughout the day, it’s very common to feel tired and fatigued. As we plough through the day’s work, we soon begin to slouch and hunch over in front of our computers. Bad posture is closely related to numerous musculoskeletal diseases and premature degeneration of the spine.

Stress. Singapore is a fast paced country and very competitive. Many Young executives may experience mental stress as a normal part of their work. Stress is known to lead to a wide range of health problems.

How can one identify spinal injury symptoms in their daily lives?

Because spinal problems can be either symptomatic or asymptomatic, it’s very difficult for someone to actually identify whether they have a spinal problem or not. Our spines are made of 24 vertebrae and they are designed to house and protect the delicate nerves that control every single cells, tissues and organs in our body. So symptoms of spinal injury can range and are not limited to: common neck and low back pain, numbers and tingling down the arms or legs, frequent headaches, lower immunity, digestive problems and sleeping disorders. Again due to the vast range of symptoms that may present or stay hidden, the best recommendation is to have your spine checked by a qualified Chiropractor.

What are the benefits of chiropractic therapy for the typical working individual?

Chiropractic can benefit patients of all ages, right from babies to pregnant mothers, teenagers, young/working adults through to seniors/elderly.

Chiropractic helps to alleviate discomfort in the body by identifying and correcting spinal misalignments, known as subluxation, that can restrict proper motion and functioning of spinal joints and may cause stretching or irritation to the spinal nerves. Chiropractors improve these musculoskeletal problems through providing a gentle, focused/specific input of pressure into the dysfunctional spinal joint that realigns the spine and allows the proper motion and function of the spine to be restored. The actual adjustment of the full spine takes a few minutes.

You mention about rescue nutrients to maintain a strong and healthy spine. Can you describe more on what that means?

A great nutrient to keep the spine healthy is omega 3 fatty acid which is present in fish oil. As such, I would recommend individuals to consider taking an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement to maintain their spinal health.

Are there any exercises such as yoga movements one can do to reduce spine or back-related injuries?

Yoga, general home stretches and tai chi are all known to help relieve spine related problems and pain. Furthermore, sports that do not exert pressure on our spine or joints such as swimming are known to be great exercises for our spinal and joint health also. However these remedies should only used to alleviate symptoms as they will not solve the underlying problem.