Developing back pain as you get older? 5 easy hacks to take care of your spinal cord

As you grow older, you may start experiencing more stiffness and pain in your back as the space between the vertebrae reduces and it starts rubbing against each other leading to arthropathies

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, November 07, 2022, 06:03 PM IST
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Several researches show that nearly 85% of men and women will have some form of neck or back pain during their lifetime. That is because the aging process leads to certain degenerative process in your spine. As you grow older, the water content reduces hence your intervertebral discs begin drying. You may start experiencing more stiffness and pain in your back as the space between the vertebrae reduces and it starts rubbing against each other leading to arthropathies. This may also cause the area around your spinal cord to grow narrower. This condition is known as spinal stenosis and it puts pressure on your spinal nerves and cord, which can trigger pain.

Dr. Nidhi Bajaj Gupta, Physiotherapy Healer, Holistic Wellness Coach and the Founder of Merahki Holistic Wellness Most says that age-related back pain can be prevented or lessened by making use of certain hacks.

1. Building a strong core

Your core muscles are like the natural belt of the body.  They are the group of hip and trunk muscles which keep your pelvis, abdomen, and back muscles working together to support your body. A strong core is important because it maintains proper posture, good balance and stability and allows you to perform normal daily activities such as lifting, bending, and reaching without back pain. Incorporating core exercises minimum twice a week will help you to reduce or prevent back pain.

2. Nutrition care

Your diet plays an important role in your back health. The raw material for repair comes from the food. Vitamin B, C, D, K, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron and manganese are essential for healthy bones and connective tissues. Low Vitamin D and calcium intake can lead to osteoporosis of spine which leads to diminished bone density, bone loss and increased risk of fractures. Below are the foods that will help you keep your spine strong:

Plant based proteins like lentils, beans and chia seeds

Green leafy vegetables spinach, broccoli and kale

Fruits like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries

Nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts and seeds like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

Good fats like coconut, avocado and olive oil

If you are overweight, try losing some pounds as it causes extra load on your spine and other joints.

3. Maintaining proper position

Improper lifting technique causes low back pain. To avoid this, lift with your legs, keep your spine straight and keep the weight close to the body. Avoid twisting while lifting, instead turn with your whole body. Do not lift weight beyond your capacity. Your sleep position matters, too. Purchase a supportive mattress that is decent quality. Your spine is compressed while you sleep on your back. This pressure on your back when you sleep is slightly relieved by raising your legs. By putting a pillow under your knees, you may reduce that pressure in half. While sitting, avoid slouching your back, sit straight with your back supported and shoulders rolled backward.

4. Manage your mood

Emotions can play a significant role on our physical health. Negative emotions like fear, anxiety and stress can cause spasms around the spinal muscles thus leading to stiffness and pain. Suppressed emotions can affect bone health and early degeneration. Depression is another cause of pain in the back. It primarily makes you tired, and being tired makes it difficult to work out and develop your core. A weakened core and back muscles may increase the risk of low back pain. Hence it is important to manage your emotions by various techniques like mindfulness and meditation. Also being within nature, talking to your loved ones, writing, painting, dancing, listening to music and practicing gratitude can enhance our overall spinal health.

5. Implement a regular exercise regimen and adequate rest period

Regular exercises at least 4-5 days a week will help you keep fit and help your muscles grow stronger so you can do your day-to-day activities with ease. This will prevent and reduce degeneration as you age. It should ideally include a variety of exercises like mobility exercises, light resistance training, flexibility training, light walking or swimming. Breathing exercises done regularly can also help in spinal health. This leads to improve oxygenation to the various muscles and keeps the spine suppler. Also rest or recovery period is also importantAging tends to slow our recovery from injuries which can be due to delayed inflammatory response, reduced skin elasticity and other associated medical conditions like diabetes, so an adequate recovery period is to be provided after the exercises.

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