22 Apr Spine Health
As many as 80 percent of adults suffer from back pain during some part of their life. Some of this is hard to avoid – if not impossible. Aging is hard on backs, and some conditions are simply a matter of wear and tear. Other conditions, such as osteoporosis, are as universal as poorer eyesight once we reach the age of 40. That is not to say; everyone suffers from poor eyesight as they age and osteoporosis. It just comes with the territory.
But certainly, back pain can be very debilitating. As such, it pays to take as many precautions as you can, and one of these, of course, is to have frequent physicals done by a doctor to ensure you can anticipate problems as early as possible. The other key here is to see a doctor as soon as you feel pain from an injury or pain you cannot explain. If you do have a serious health issue with your back, it is always best to treat the condition as early as possible.
Common Back Injuries and Conditions
The fibrous discs that separate the vertebrae of our back lose moisture as we age. They become less flexible and prone to losing their proper shape or consistency. This can allow two vertebrae to rub together, which can be painful.
Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
This is a natural process. The spinal column has channels that contain critical nerves, connecting the brain to all of the body’s various tissues.
Herniated slipped or ruptured disc
The vertebral discs can rupture or move out of position, causing pain in the back or neck.
Sciatica refers to a pinched nerve condition that is most painful in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and the back of the legs.
Osteoporosis and Vertebral Fracturing
As we age, our bones become more brittle and porous. When this occurs in the spinal vertebrae, the vertebrae could lose its strength and collapse – although it is generally a partial collapse. There are surgical methods of repairing this damage.
As you can see, it is hard to avoid some of these problems as you age. You cannot stop osteoporosis. But you might be able to slow down its progress, and avoiding injury always helps. Here are some steps you can take to keep your back healthy for as long as possible.
Improve core strength
- In your workouts, include exercises that improve your core strength. This refers to muscles of the abdomen and lower back – muscles that support your posture.
- Maintain good posture – You can put yourself in harm’s way by allowing your posture to put extra weight on your lower back. Try to avoid this. The proper chair can help you achieve this issue.
- Lifting correctly – Learn to lift correctly. This entails keeping your back straight, keeping your arms in front of you (as opposed to stretching them out wide to lift something), keeping the object close to your chest as you list, and lifting with your legs.
- Find a supportive mattress – A soft massage affects someone who is elderly more than someone who is young. Find a mattress that is firm or place a sheet of plywood under your mattress for added support.
- Avoid repetitious lifting Attend to your other health needs and treat injuries seriously. Don’t discount minor injuries as unimportant. Take care of aches and pains early before they grow chronic.
For an appointment
For an appointment, call restorative pain management San Diego at 619-333-8114.