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How To Maintain Spine Health as You Age

As we age, a bit of spinal deterioration is going to happen naturally. But diminished flexibility and excessive back pain aren’t necessarily a given.

Don’t assume that back pain is simply a side-effect of getting older. It doesn’t have to be, and here are some steps you can take to slow and combat the wear and tear that can contribute to aches and pains.


Exercise plenty

Regular exercise boosts your health by ensuring that your back’s ligaments and tendons remain flexible enough to manage a variety of movements.

If you allow those key spinal components to lose their flexibility, your connective fibers may become more prone to damage, leading to severe pain. Your best bet is to add core exercises to your workout routine because core muscles are a major source of support for your spine. Mix in aerobics, flexion (bending forward), and extension (bending backward) stretches.


Don’t skimp on your mattress

If you’re consistently waking up with pain, it might be your mattress, not your age. Mattresses wear out, too, and that support you loved when it was a new mattress may have dwindled over the years. Make sure you have (or get) a mattress that lets your spine maintain its straight, natural alignment.


Maintain good posture

This pertains to people of every age, but it’s a very important step to maintaining good spine health for older folks, too.

Posture is important because improper positioning can add serious stress to your back’s already considerable workload. It could cause your vertebrae to deteriorate much faster than they would naturally. Pay attention to your posture while you’re sitting. Standing lends itself to good posture, but when you’re on a sofa or in a chair, don’t lean forward or twist into some pretzel-like position.


Lift Things Carefully

Bad lifting technique is a common cause of back injury. Bend at the knees, rather than at your waist, when attempting to lift something. If whatever you’re lifting weighs more than 20% of your body weight, don’t try lifting it alone. Find a friend or a family member to help.


Quit Smoking

Several studies suggest that the chemicals in cigarettes, especially nicotine, can damage blood vessels in and near your spine and prevent soft tissues from healing sufficiently.


Eat a Nutritious Diet

Making smart food choices will help keep the weight off. Your spine will thank you. Try to eat green, leafy vegetables, blueberries, almonds, and fatty fish (like sardines and mackerel), all of which will naturally reduce inflammation.  Aim for low-fat dairy products to get the beneficial vitamins older adults need in larger amounts, particularly vitamins D and E and various types of B vitamins.


If you have any questions about helping your spine through chiropractic care or would like to schedule an appointment, please call a Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic location or request an appointment online today.