How to Look After Your Spine as You Grow Older

As you grow older, you will start to notice changes to the things you used to do with ease. Perhaps you can’t walk as far or as fast as you used to, or maybe you get out of breath quicker than when you were younger. However, there is one area of your body that can become particularly problematic - your spine. Many people when they are younger, don’t always look after their spine as they should. Understandably, this can lead to problems later in life such as pain and lack of mobility. Below are some tips for looking after your back as you get older, to hopefully prevent these problems.

Your Spinal Health

You might not always think about the role your spine plays in your physical health until something goes wrong. Your spine is the central support that contains the central nervous system. It is this system that provides the electrical signals to all the muscles and organs in your body. If part of your spine gets damaged, it can cause not only paralysis but also difficulty breathing or other physical problems. It is one of the main reasons why looking after your spine is so important, and why so much focus is on your spinal health.

Take Care Day to Day

Despite what you might think, hurting your spine can be done easily if you are not thinking about it. Although lifting heavy things is one of the most common ways to injure your back, there are many other ways that it can happen. Sometimes, twisting in an awkward position can cause your spine to get hurt, either by a disc popping out or by pulling a muscle. Another way that many people have hurt their backs is by sneezing. If you are twisted or bent over when you sneeze, this can cause a back spasm or a disc problem. It can be easy to forget these causes, but you need to think about them carefully.

Your General Health

When it comes to your spine, there are other factors which can influence the problems you have. The state of your general health and your habits can cause issues you might not think would have an impact. Your weight is something that can have a profound effect on your spine. The more you weigh, the more pressure is placed on your vertebra and the tendons in your back. If you want to prevent back issues, or if you want to lessen problems you already have, then you should think about losing a little weight. Smoking can also cause you further problems; although it is bad for you, it can cause you to heal slower following surgery. That means if you need to have surgery on your back for whatever reason, it will take longer to recover.

Keep Moving

In the past, if you hurt your back in any way, you were told to rest until it got better. However, new research has now found that the opposite is true. If you get an injury to your back now, you are encouraged to keep moving so that the muscles don’t seize up and cause more discomfort. You will now be given exercises that you should do every day; they are designed to gently stretch and manipulate the muscles of the back so that you can regain the movement. You might also be given medication to reduce swelling and relieve the pain. If you are in a job that involves a lot of sitting, then it is advised that you take regular breaks to try and keep your back moving and prevent any tightening of the muscles.

Seek Professional Help

If you have a back problem, then sometimes you will need to seek the advice of a professional to see if anything can be done to correct the problem. These are usually problems that have been causing you pain or discomfort for some time. There are many surgeons such as Dr. Fong an orthopedic surgeon that can treat many types of back problems. In many cases, they can resolve many spinal issues including slipped discs and worn vertebrae.

Learn to Lift Things Properly

One of the main reasons people suffer a back injury is because they don’t learn how to lift things properly. Although this might not cause you an issue right away, over time, lifting incorrectly can cause significant issues. You need to remember that you should bend your knees before you lift and never just lean over at the waist. You should also try to have the item as close to your chest as possible when you lift. It will keep your center of gravity close to your body and prevent the muscles being strained. When lifting, you should lift with your knees only, and your back should be straight. It is also important that you don’t try to lift anything too heavy. If you do have something heavy to lift, then you need to get the help of another person.

Make Your Bed Comfortable

If you are having issues while you are sleeping, or if you are having problems getting comfortable, then it might be that your bed is not right for you. Sleeping in a bed that doesn’t support you will cause your spine to twist or bend out of shape. It can lead to pain in the mornings and an uncomfortable night’s sleep. When shopping for beds, you should be trying them out before you buy if possible. For example, make sure that the mattress is supporting your back, and that you are not using too many pillows. Depending on your own comfort, there are many types of mattress to choose from including soft, hard, and memory foam.

Your spine and the muscles that surround it is one of the most important parts of your body to keep in good condition. A problem with your back or spine can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort that can last for the rest of your life. 

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