Nobody wants to slow down as they get older, but time and aging will take its toll on everyone. This is especially common in our spine, where the effects of aging and stress can be even more pronounced if we don’t take care of it. Don’t let your spine be the reason why you’re not as active as you want to be. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips that can help prevent back pain from slowing you down as you get older.
Don’t Let Back Pain Slow You Down
Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to do to help keep your spine strong and prevent it from slowing you down as you age.
- Exercise and Strengthen It – The spine handles a lot of natural stress each and every day, but that alone won’t be enough to help keep it strong. You also want to develop your spinal muscles and supportive tissues through targeted strength training exercises. Exercise your body and strengthen your spine with regular workouts. Running, walking, swimming and cycling are all great ways to develop spinal muscles and keep them functioning optimally for years to come.
- Kick The Bad Habits – You know that smoking is bad for your body, but it can be extremely detrimental to your spine health. Not only will smoking lead to blood vessel constriction and reduced healthy blood flow to key spinal areas, but it can also speed up spinal disc height loss. As your spinal discs shrink, they are more likely to move out of place, compress nerves or cause vertebral shifting, all of which have painful side effects. Excessive alcohol consumption can also affect your blood vessels, so cut back or kick the bad habits entirely.
- Mind Your Weight – Your spine is tasked with handling the natural stress of your body when you’re seated or standing, and the heavier you are, the more stress that needs to be dispersed. That’s why it’s so important to manage your weight and avoid overloading your body with stress day in and day out. Strive to lose some weight or work towards a healthier weight, and your spinal discs will thank you for it.
- Stop Small Problems – For many people who deal with daily back pain, their discomfort started out rather small and then grew to become more debilitating. A lot of people with minor back pain either just choose to ignore it or they just assume it will go away on its own. If you keep doing the same activities that led to back pain onset in the first place, your pain isn’t going to get better, and in fact it tends to get worse. Actively treat back pain at the first sign of a problem. Many of our patients say that they wish they would have come to us sooner, so don’t wait for back pain to become a daily burden before you begin treatment.
- Be Posture Aware – Finally, make sure that you are always cognizant of your posture throughout the day. If you’re slouching on the couch or at your desk, or you’re hunched forward while you’re driving, you’ll be placing a lot of stress on your lumbar and cervical spine. Many people aren’t all that aware of their posture when they are seated because they don’t realize just how much stress their spine is carrying while their body is in an inactive state. You need to regularly check your posture throughout the day to ensure your head is positioned over your shoulders and you’re not leaning forwards or backwards in your chair. Doing this can really help to keep your spine healthy as you get older.
For more tips on how you can help prevent back pain from slowing down, or to talk to a specialist about your spine issues, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.