Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 12, 2019
When we’re young, we often take our good health for granted and assume we’ll always be as athletic and flexible as we are in our teens and 20s. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case, and most people begin to notice this in their 30s. As we get older, we need to put in more work if we want to keep our bodies aging in a healthy manner. Today, we take a look at some things you can do in your 30s and 40s to help ward of spine pain and keep your back healthy.
Exercise and strength training is the single best thing you can do for your spine as you continue to age. This helps to push healthy blood to the area and strengthen muscle groups that support your spine. If muscle groups are weaker, they are more susceptible to strains, pulls and tears. Strive for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or strength training 4-5 times a week.
By diet, we don’t mean that you need to go on a diet in your 30s, you simply need to be aware of how your food choices can affect your spine. Our metabolism tends to slow down in our 30s and 40s, meaning we may be prone to weight gain. This extra weight only puts more stress on our spines, which can lead to injury. Junk foods and fatty foods can also contribute to the onset of spinal inflammation, which can compress spinal nerves and make movement painful. Be more aware of your food choices and strive to make some healthy changes, and your spine will thank you for it.
Sometimes it’s not the forceful acute trauma that causes problems for our spine, it’s microtrauma over the years in the form of poor posture. Bad posture channels extra stress on your cervical or lumbar spine, which can serve to break down healthy structures more quickly. If you work in an office setting, you drive a lot or you’re hunched over a phone or laptop quite frequently, know that you’re putting a lot of pressure on your spine. Help to alleviate this issue by striving to keep your head positioned directly over your shoulders and to avoid hunching or slumping. This microtrauma adds up, so conduct regular posture checks throughout the day.
Tobacco products can restrict blood vessels and make it harder for enough healthy blood to get to all the necessary spinal structures. If they can’t get what they need, areas like vertebrae or spinal discs may be more prone to fractures. Ditch the cigarettes or tobacco products if you want to keep your spine healthy as you age.
Stop Small Issues
Finally, some people believe that aches and pains are just a part of getting older, but this isn’t exactly the truth. If small back problems develop, be proactive and treat the issue so it heals. If you keep doing the same actions that led to the problem in the first place, the issue is only going to get worse, and that can impact treatment success. As you get older, become more proactive about treating small spine and health issues as they first develop.