Health Advice For U


The Importance of a Strong Spine

Growing old is as certain as death and taxes. It is a natural phenomenon that no one is exempted from.  When you reach your thirties, you may already feel some changes in how you feel and how you look. You do not only mature mentally, but there is a significant change in your physical appearance. These physical changes often leave a lot of people, especially women, conscious and insecure, especially when it comes to their faces. Some get hysterical when they notice fine lines at the side of their eyes or if they see a single strand of gray hair.


But, most people will not take care of their spine related problems. Elderly people need to maintain a flexible and a well conditioned back. It not only helps avoid back injury or minimise the severity of injury if the spine is traumatised, but also helps relieve many back conditions.


There are two types of pain that you will feel. One is a sharp and quick pain that comes and goes quickly known as acute pain. The other kind comes gradually and lasts for long periods of time known as chronic. While both types of pain can be debilitating, especially in the back, chronic can be the most frustrating to deal with. It can cripple you and keep you from enjoying the life you have. While there may be no sure cure for the chronic pain you endure, there are options in chronic back pain relief that may help.


Here are a few tips for the elderly, on how to strengthen their spine:


Do the right types of exercises like swimming, cycling, walking and crunches regularly. There are types of exercise equipment that are designed to help strengthen and stretch your back. This equipment can decompress your spine and release pressure.


Sleep on a firm mattress as it reduces any curve in the spine. Get a new mattress if the existing one is more than 10 years old.


Do not watch television while lying down on the bed.


Follow a healthy diet and maintain a desirable weight.


Warm up and stretch before doing any intensive physical activities.


Refrain from lengthy inactivity or bed rest.


Your diet may be having an impact on your back pain but it can also help to relieve lower back pain. Dehydration may be some of the cause. You should drink water even when you don't feel thirsty. If you feel thirsty then you have waited too long. The best rehydration for your body is water and it can help with lower back pain.


Bad habits to drop immediately:


You might be surprised to learn that most spinal problems occur due to repeated behaviours that stress the body. In order to prevent these health problems, the elderly must avoid the following bad habits:

Smoking: While many are aware of the impact of smoking on cancers and other heart ailments, very few people know that smoking has a strong association with spinal problems.


Bad posture: It can add strain to your aging muscles and put stress on the spine, which over time can actually change the anatomical characteristics of the spine.


Lack of exercise: Dearth of regular exercise, particularly abdominal/back strengthening exercises, may lead to increased lower back pain.


Being Sedentary: Limiting activity to manage pain can be counterproductive.



Myth: Bed rest is the best treatment for back pain.

Fact: Bed rest may actually worsen back pain unless it is so severe that one cannot move. Elderly people generally believe that bed rest is the best way to alleviate back pain. Bed rest is recommended mainly to reduce pressure on the spine discs. It is also recommended to halt the mechanical stresses that irritate the pain receptors. While a short period of bed rest may help reduce acute back pain, prolonged rest can worsen the condition and lead to secondary complications like depression, decreased muscle tone and strength, and blood clots in the legs.