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4 Great Strategies for Less Back Pain Later In Life

4 Great Strategies for Less Back Pain Later In Life

When we age, some physical changes are inevitable — wrinkles, graying hair (or hair loss), weaker muscles — but these changes certainly don't have to include pain, especially back pain. 

Unfortunately, back pain is all too common in our population — 65 million Americans report recent back pain, and about 8% of adults have chronic back pain that places serious limitations on their lives.

If you want to avoid back pain, now and down the road, we have some great strategies that can help accomplish this goal. In this month’s blog post, the team here at Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas has pulled together 4 best practices that will help you stand tall in the future.

1. Beef up core strength 

At the foundation of your back is your spine, which is made up of 33 vertebrae and 23 intervertebral discs. Much of your body’s strength and stability comes from this structure, which is supported by some fairly strong tissues  — namely your core muscles, which include the strong muscles in your back and abdomen.

If you want to avoid back problems, it’s paramount that you keep all of your core muscles strong so that your spine is well-supported and the workload is spread out.

A great place to start is with these core-strengthening exercises.

2. Keep your back flexible

In addition to beefing up the muscles in your core, you should also spend some time encouraging flexibility in your back. You don’t want to have a stiff back in the future, since tight connective tissues can lead to more issues with back strains.

So, take some time each day to reach up high and then bend down to see if you can touch your toes. Or, you can sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and try to reach for your toes.

For some more great back flexibility exercises, click here.

3. Posture matters

Our collective posture has taken a massive hit thanks to hunching over smartphones and working on laptops. Whether you’re sitting or standing, it's important to maintain great posture so that you’re not overstressing your back and neck.

When you're standing, keep your shoulders back and your head held high. When you’re seated, make sure both feet are on the floor and that your butt is up against the back of the seat (no slouching). Keep your head up and your eyes forward — place your screen at eye level so you’re not looking down at it.

If you practice great posture now, your back will reward you in the future.

4. Lose weight if you need to

Your musculoskeletal structure is designed to carry a certain amount of weight. and when you exceed that, problems can ensue. This holds especially true for your back.

Unfortunately, nearly one-third of Americans are overweight and they may be wearing down the structures in their back prematurely, which can lead to back pain.

When you lose those excess pounds, not only will you greatly reduce your risks for age-related back pain, but you’ll also benefit your health in myriad other ways, such as boosting your cardiovascular health.

By instituting these best practices now, you can go a long way toward avoiding being hunched over with back pain in the future.

If you’d like a more detailed and targeted back pain prevention plan, please call or message one of our locations in Waco, Arlington, Wichita Falls, and Fort Worth, Texas, today to set up an appointment.

 

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