There are some people are not aware of this, but the spine starts to age and undergo degenerative changes when you hit your early twenties already. Unfortunately, this matter persists throughout your life.
The only way to prevent back issues to radiate to other medical problems is to take care of your health starting today. The degenerative changes that naturally occur in the spine cause pain. It may start in your shoulders, work its way to your back and later radiate to your legs.
One of the most common spine problems that specialists frequently encounter is arthritis. It is often found in the spine of 50-year-old people, and some experience no symptoms at all.
According to a spine specialist Dr. Kush Goyal, “The percentage of patients with a significant amount of degenerative changes increases as people age”. The change is found in the discs or the spongy cartilage that separates and cushions your vertebra from one another. An MRI scan can be performed to identify its size, height, color and water content.
When does a painful back merit a visit to your physician’s office? According to Dr. Goya, here are four red flags to watch out for:
- Pain that lasts for weeks to months
- Significant changes in your bladder and bowel movements
- Evident and progressive weakness
To avoid suffering from the consequences of degenerative discs, it is important that you take the necessary actions to maintain a healthy spine and back, especially when you are already in your 50’s.
Stay Physically Active
To keep your spine healthy and pain free, you need to work on your muscle strength to support your posture and weight. Activities like strength training and yoga will help improve your core.
Lose Weight or Maintain and Ideal Body Weight
Every excess pound adds pressure and tension to your spine and muscles. To help relieve the pressure off, you need to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
This is perhaps mentioned countless times in every health book or health-related article.
Smoking causes detrimental consequences to your health. It also affects the healing time of your spine and can possibly make the situation worse. As every medication, injection and surgery is impacted by smoking, it is best to completely give up this bad habit.
Nutrition Is Key
Supplementing your body with essential nutrients helps your body prevent and heal injuries faster. Focus on a diet that is composed of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, healthy fats and whole grains. Take your daily multivitamins to make sure that you get every nutritional parts your body needs.
If you are already suffering from back pain, you cannot just assume that it will go away by itself. There are treatments and prevention methods that you can pursue to get your life back.
Find A Comfortable Mattress
Posture while you are asleep also matters for back pain prevention. If your bed is older than six years, consider replacing it. Find a mattresses that provides neck, shoulder and spine support. They can be pricey, but it will definitely help you ease the pain.
Find A Therapist
If your back pain has been ongoing for months, it is best to get a referral from your primary care physician to see a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is beneficial in correcting spinal any misalignment.
You can also see a physical therapist or a massage therapist to help you with pain management.
Back pain caused by degeneration and age is a serious matter and no one should take it lightly. It may start as a simple discomfort but it can easily radiate to health problems that can hinder you from performing regular tasks such as sleeping, walking, standing and driving.
If you are asking “Will I suffer from back pain when I get older”, the answer is probably yes. But if you take the necessary preventative steps, the answer can be a no instead.