Just about all of us experience mild to severe back pain at some time in our lives, and there’s a long list of possible causes. The disks and bones in our backs do inevitably deteriorate over time, causing soreness and stiffness, but if you opt for sensible lifestyle choices back pain does not necessarily have to become a part of your ageing experience.
What causes the pain?
The spine is composed of vertebrae stacked on top of each other, with small internal joints between and disks that play the role of shock absorbers, preventing friction. As we grow older, these disks wear and shrink, causing stiffness and pain as the bones rub up against one another. This results in spinal stenosis and causes additional pain by pressurizing the spinal nerves.
Even when young, if you overdo things or experience whiplash during a car accident, for example, you’ll experience pain in the lower back region and this may accelerate the arthritis that will cause back pain later in life.
How a chiropractor can help
A qualified expert like Chiropractor Sol Cogan can provide advice on how to avoid back pain. He believes in assisting the body in its natural healing processes and is committed to maximizing quality of life be decreasing pain. The emphasis is on addressing underlying causes rather than simply treating the symptoms of back pain.
The best way to keep your back supple and strong into your later years is to maintain good posture, lift weights correctly and have regular exercise.
Exercises such as swimming and walking have the effect of strengthening the muscles of the back without putting any sudden strain on your vertebrae.
How you sit, stand and lie can profoundly affect your back, especially in later life. Stand upright and face-front, with your legs straight and your weight balanced evenly.
Sit in an upright position with good support for the small of your back and with hips and knees level. When sitting at a keyboard, keep your forearms horizontal.
When sleeping, you should use a firm mattress that will ensure your spine does not curve into a dip but is kept straight, and a firm board under a softer mattress often helps.
Incorrect posture when lifting is one of the biggest causes of back pain in later life. It is important to maintain the correct position, with the load in contact with your waist, no twisting sideways and your face ahead rather than looking at the weight. You should also know how much it’s safe for you to life, and to evenly distribute the weight.
Should you experience back pain at any stage in your life don’t be tempted to ignore it, even if you assume that ‘it’s all a part of ageing’. It could very well be a tell-tale sign of a potentially serious problem which is treatable if addressed early on. Nobody need suffer in silence, as most types back pain are treatable and, indeed, preventable.