Giving Your Back A Little Extra Care As You Get Older

Wear and tear is all a natural part of the human process of aging. However, there are some parts of the body that take it a little rougher than the rest and, without the right care, can cause some bad pain. Given that back pain is the single leading cause of disability amongst adults, it should be clear that it can strike anyone, and that you need to do a little extra to keep your back healthy. Here are a few tips to do just that.

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Keep your core strong

Gravity is the primary force that’s wearing down on your spine and your spine supports your body to effectively fight against it and keep you upright. However, you can support your back as well to make sure that your spine gets some backup, as well. Our core muscles are rarely used during our everyday activities. As such, you need to make sure that you’re putting effort into actively doing core exercises, which can strengthen your abs as well as the muscles in your back, which can then help support your spine. If you’re already feeling some back pain, core exercises are often recommended as a way to help relieve that pain, as well. Of course, exercise, in general, is highly recommended, and we’ll cover another reason that this is the case, next.

 

Consider your weight seriously

Unfortunately, there is a very strong correlation between being overweight and back pain. Your spine doesn’t grow to accommodate the extra weight. If you’re heavier, you’re putting more stress on it, which doesn’t make it strong like it would a muscle. As such, if you are overweight and you’re feeling back pain, there is a good chance that controlling your weight might be able to lead to some relief. Even if you do not feel very mobile, there are options for everyone to start making a difference in their activity levels, as well as their diet, that can make it easier to start gradually making progress towards a weight that isn’t as likely to stress your back.

 

Make sure that you’re sleeping right

Your choice of bed and mattress might have deeper health implications than you might think. When you sleep is supposed to be when your back muscles and spine have the opportunity to relax but if you’re not giving them the proper support, then that might not happen. Which kind of mattress is best suited to you will largely depend on the position that you sleep in. The most important factor, however, is that you’re getting the support that your spine means. If you’re a back sleeper, for instance, this means that you should be using a firm or medium-firm mattress. If you sleep on your back, you should also consider placing a pillow between your knees to make sure that your hips stay balanced, distributing your weight more evenly on your back.

 

See the doctor early

When it comes to your back, you really shouldn’t be taking any chances. When you start to feel any aching or other symptoms there, you should make sure that you’re looking for some professional advice. You might think that some types of back pain are nothing to worry about, perhaps just caused by lying in your bed wrong, but if you’re feeling a sore back that worsens while walking, after sleeping, or after sitting, it could be a sign of a herniated disc. The sooner that you get it treated, the better your chance of treating the degeneration of the back tissue before it leads to a much more painful disc prolapse.

 

Try to maintain your posture

It might sound like you’re being told off by a teacher or parent as a child if you’re told to sit up straight or stand up straight. However, there’s plenty of good reason to make sure that you’re not slouching too much in your daily life. If you slouch or are slightly bent over, it puts more pressure on certain parts of your back, which can lead to some of the early degeneration mentioned above. Try to maintain a good posture while standing, walking, and sitting. If you need some help, investing in an ergonomic chair might be able to help you manage it more easily.

 

You might not be able to stop the aging process and completely eliminate the chances that you will ever get back pain. However, if you take care of your body, you can make sure that you’re less likely to suffer the worst symptoms of wear and tear that can lead to debilitating pain.

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