The spine is one of the most important structures in our body. It supports us, protects us, and provides stability to move from place to place throughout the day.
As we get older, it’s not uncommon to experience increased aches, pains, and joint stiffness. Many of us assume this discomfort just goes with the territory – and in fact, when it comes to the spine, some decline in function and flexibility may be expected as the bones and intervertebral disks begin to deteriorate over time.
But there are several things you can do right now to maintain your spine’s flexibility and comfort well into your golden years.
Golden, CO family chiropractic experts suggest:
Maintaining a healthy weight is key.
Being overweight can put additional stress on the spine first, causing more wear and tear over time. The spine is the backbone of our body. It supports us and gives us mobility. This means that it’s important to keep a healthy weight to protect your spine, and at times this can be difficult. But with some tips, you can take steps to maintain a healthy weight for your spine.
Doing simple stretches throughout the day will help keep your back flexible and pain-free
Are you noticing that your back is aching more often? If so, it’s time to start doing some simple stretches. These can be done anywhere and are especially handy for people who spend their days at a desk.
Your chiropractor will explain to you the importance of spine health as you grow older and teach you easy stretches that can help keep you backache-free.
Making sure you’re getting enough calcium
Calcium helps provide some protection against osteoporosis. And since it may be difficult for those with painful arthritis to move their bowels, adding plenty of fiber in your diet may also prevent constipation which can cause straining that leads to muscle spasms in the low back – another common source of discomfort as we get older.
Keeping up with chiropractic care offers ongoing spine relief
A lot of moms and dads don’t know how important it is to keep up with chiropractic care. It’s not just for backache or other acute injuries but also ongoing spine relief. Chiropractors are trained in the correction and prevention of various well-being concerns, including headaches, neck pain, joint stiffness, and more.
The Problems of the Aging Spine
The spine is an intricate part of the body, and while it may not be as sexy as a six-pack or a toned bum, it has to work every day. From sitting at your desk all day to picking up your children from school, our spines are constantly under pressure.
As we get older, it’s not uncommon to experience increased aches, pains, and joint stiffness. Many of us assume this discomfort just goes with the territory – and in fact, when it comes to the spine, some decline in function and flexibility may be expected as the bones and intervertebral disks begin to deteriorate over time. But there are several things you can do right now that will maintain your spine’s flexibility well into your golden years.
Aging has a way of making our bodies feel less than what they used to be. Many physical ailments can come with aging. The most common being is backache. As your spine ages, it becomes weaker and more prone to injury or damage from everyday activities like bending over or picking up an item off the floor.
The spine naturally deteriorates, and the discs between the vertebrae become less flexible. This can lead to a number of problems, including spinal stenosis, herniated disc, osteoarthritis (joint pain), and degenerative disc disease.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and neck. Some people with spinal stenosis may not have symptoms; others may experience discomfort, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Symptoms can worsen over time.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for nerves traveling through the spinal cord.
The narrowing of the spaces within your spine can put pressure on the nerves that travel through it.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.
A herniated disc, also called bulged, slipped, or ruptured is a fragment of the disc nucleus pushed out of the annulus into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture in the annulus. This can happen when an injury to your back and discs is weakened and more susceptible to damage.
There are many symptoms associated with this condition that you should not ignore, such as aches shooting down both legs, extreme difficulty walking upstairs, or standing for long periods without being able to sit again soon after. This condition may lead to paralysis when left untreated, so you must get yourself checked out if these symptoms show up.
Discs cushion the bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in the back. These discs are round, like small pillows, with a tough outer layer (annulus) surrounding the nucleus. Located between each vertebra in the spinal column, discs act as shock absorbers for the spinal bones.
A herniated disc is not an infection. It does not need to be drained or removed, and it rarely requires surgery, but instead can often be treated with medicine and therapy.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people, and it is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among older adults. The disease affects both men and women.
Before age 45, osteoarthritis is more common in men than in women. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common in women. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within a joint, breaks down and wears away. In some cases, all of this cartilage may wear away, leaving bones that rub up against each other.
To prevent Osteoarthritis from occurring or slow its progression once it has started, you can incorporate these techniques into your daily routine.
Osteoarthritis can be treated with medications, physical therapy, or surgery. The goal of treatment is two-fold: to prevent any further damage and reduce the discomfort that accompanies Osteoarthritis. In some cases, the patient may need a joint replacement to live more comfortably without ache.
The most important element for people living with osteoarthritis is maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and exercising regularly.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a common condition that affects the spine and can lead to lower backache. While degenerative disc disease usually doesn’t get worse over time, it’s important to find ways to manage the discomfort of symptoms so you can function as well as possible at home and work.
Many exercises can manage lower backache caused by degenerative disc disease. Some of the most effective ones to start with include stretching and yoga and strengthening abdominal muscles and low back extensors through various movements such as planks, bridges, leg swings (with a belt), and single-leg squats on a wobble board or Bosu ball, and many more.
How Golden Family Chiropractic Keeps You Healthy
A 2014 study looked at the Medicare database and examined the role of chiropractic in keeping older clients active. They found that people who saw a chiropractor had better functioning and self-assessed well-being than non-chiropractic patients, concluding that seeing a doctor has protective effects for senior citizens against physical deterioration.
Better Immune System and Overall Health
As the spine’s health is improved through spinal manipulation, the central nervous system is also improved, and this can affect various other systems, including your immune system.
While it may not be guaranteed for everyone who gets treatment at a Chiropractor’s office once or twice per week, many people report less illness and general feelings of being unwell after just one visit with their chiropractor.
Chiropractic patients claim to have a little more energy, less discomfort and have a sign that their health feels improved.
A Greater Activity Level
The more active and mobile you are, the easier time you’re going to have when fighting off any germs that find their way into your body. With less discomfort and a better sense of well-being, which are two direct results of chiropractic care, the more active you can be. Exercise becomes an enjoyable routine while taking care of yourself becomes easy with these benefits from seeing a chiropractor in Golden, Co regularly.
Tips To Protect Your Spine
The human spine is a complicated and delicate structure. It is important to protect it by following some simple tips that will keep it healthy. Here are a few things you can do today to maintain your back, neck, and spine:
Keep your head up
When we work at our computer or read on the couch, our heads tend to fall forward into an unnatural position. This causes all sorts of problems for us down the road because this puts pressure on muscles in our backs and necks. So make sure you’re sitting up straight when working or reading so that your head stays in line with your body.
Strengthen your core muscles daily
Strong and supportive muscles in the trunk of our body are essential to support our spine. Core strength is often neglected but is just as important as cardio for maintaining good wellness.
Invest in an ergonomic office chair for healthier posture and a longer career
Sitting all day can cause backache, but investing in an affordable ergonomic desk or workstation chair will help. The adjustable seat height of this popular model is perfect for anyone who spends long hours sitting at their computer every single day – which should be everyone.
Safeguard your back while lifting, and don’t bend over.
There are various ways to lift without bending or twisting the spine: with an object in each hand (e.g., a broom), using one arm as support while pulling yourself up by another part of your body (i.e., head), or getting someone else’s support when possible.
To reduce your risk of injury, try to dissipate stressors during everyday activities.
Even small amounts of stressing on the intricate structures in your lower back can add up and lead to degeneration and pain over time.
Rest your back at intervals
When you bend forward for prolonged periods, such as while weeding your garden or cooking a meal, the discs in between the vertebrae and ligaments that support bony structures stretch, this can put pressure on those joints, causing them to become stiffer before returning to their normal state.
Tight hamstrings can cause low back pain, but they are easy to stretch and relieve tension.
Do some stretches that will improve your lower back feel better by trying these hamstring exercises:
1) Seated Stretch for Hamstring- This is the easiest way to do a seated hamstring stretch. Sit in any chair with both feet on the ground or over crossed legs (knee should be bent). Straighten one leg so that it points forward while staying close alongside your other foot as much as possible, then pull gently towards the chest until tightness occurs at the thigh muscle
2) Quadriceps Stretch – Stand up straight, balancing yourself against something sturdy if needed like a wall, railing, etc… Then place the right heel firmly down onto the floor near the left toes.
Dr. Martinez of www.livealignedfamilychiropractic.com can do more than just give you tips, advice but services as well for better spine health and alignment. He and his team can offer and guide you and your family members on different problems such as discomfort and other issues.
If you’re worried about balance and being able to do physical work as you age, don’t fear. Call and see Live Aligned Family Chiropractic for an appointment.