How To Look After Your Back As You Get Older

Despite the importance that your spine plays throughout your life, many people tend to ignore it until something goes wrong. When you’re young, you never think that your body will let you down, so you lift incorrectly or do something that puts a strain on your back without thinking. However, as you grow older, your back can start to suffer because of these incidents. So, how can you look after your back as you get older?

Why Is Spinal Health So Important?

Apart from the fact that your spine is the central support for your whole body, there are other reasons why you need to keep your back in the best condition you can. It helps to provide coordination for your body as well as protecting your central nervous system. Within your spine, you have many ligaments, muscles, and tendons that are designed to help support other parts of your body. If they get damaged, it can cause problems in many other parts of the body as well. However, it is as its role as protector of the central nervous system that makes it so important.

The Spines Influence on Overall Health

Your spine has an enormous influence on the overall health of your body, because of the central nervous system or CNS which runs inside it. The CNS is the crucial point that all of your organs, nerves, and cells receive their impulses from, and if any part of the CNS becomes damaged, then it can have a major effect on the part of your body that it controls. Everything from your respiratory function to your digestive system is controlled from your CNS. If you suffer a herniated disc in your spine, then this can press on the CNS causing problems far beyond back pain.

Maintaining Spine Movement

You might think that resting your spine is the best thing to do if you have hurt it, but, it can actually make it worse. Resting and keeping immobile causes the muscles in your spine to tighten which makes it harder to move. Once this has happened, it can take a lot longer to get your back to become more flexible again. The best thing to do when you have hurt your back is to keep moving gently. Every morning after to get up, you should gently stretch your back and your abs. Although it might be tight and painful, you need to keep doing it, and after a while, it should start to feel easier. You should keep doing these exercises every morning, even after you have started to feel better, as it will continue to help your back muscles.

Think About Your General Health

There are other factors which can lead to problems in your back. If you are overweight, then this can have an adverse effect on your back because of the extra weight. By trying to lose a few kilos, you can not only prevent back problems; you can make existing issues better. Smoking is another way that you can cause problems to your spine. Smoking is unhealthy; however, in particular, it can cause damage to the discs in the spine and also hamper healing following a back injury. If you don’t stop smoking for any other reason, then do it because of your spine health.

Getting Your Back Treated

If you already have an underlying problem with your spine, then any additional trauma can make things worse. Thankfully, there are specialists such as those at the Comprehensive Spine Institute that can help to correct any problems you are having. You can then start physiotherapy to regain your strength and flexibility.

Learn to Lift Things Properly

One of the major causes of back injury is failing to lift things in the correct way. A lot of people will try to lift something by bending at the waist instead of bending the knees. The additional stress in the back is what causes the problems which can result in damaged discs or pulled muscles. It is unfortunate that many people who suffer a back injury are always going to be plagued with problems after that. When lifting something, even if it’s not that heavy, you need to follow a few rules. Stand as close to the object you’re lifting as possible, then bend your knees and keep your back straight. You can then start to lift the object, keeping it as close to your body as possible. If the object seems too heavy for you to lift, then you need to leave it and get someone to help you.

Make Sure Your Bed is Comfortable

A lot of back problems can start from having a poorly supported bed. If the bed or the pillows don’t support you in the right way, then it can cause the spine to sit out of alignment during the night. Your muscles and ligaments will try to pull your spine back into shape which can cause pulled muscles or overstretched ligaments. There is a lot of discussion about what type of bed is the best. Memory foam is good for supporting the body, but, it can be a little too soft for many people. When looking for a new bed, it is important that you try the mattresses before you buy so you can feel how supportive they are.

Sit Up Straight

When you sit down, the discs in the lower back are subjected to three times more pressure than when standing. If you sit with a slouch, you are adding to the pressure on those discs and the ligaments that are also in that area. Try to sit up straight, with the small of your back tight into the back of the chair. By doing this simple thing, you can help to keep your back in better shape, especially if you sit down a lot.

Your spine is a hugely important part of your body for many reasons, so it is vital that you take good care of it as much as possible.

Thank to Eleonora

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