Getting old is not all that fun. You start having to pay bills, the responsibilities pile up, and you become more prone to injuries. The days of playing tackle football with your friends on a Thursday afternoon are over.
As you age, your bones become weaker and less dense. You become more susceptible to fractures and breaks than ever before. Also, your muscles start to lose strength, endurance, and flexibility.
For instance, as you age, you can start to experience chronic back pain. The kind of pain that will make it difficult to do almost anything. It can cripple you to the point where just sitting down in a chair can be painful.
And yes, that sounds all doom and gloom, but there are processes to help reduce the effects of the aging process. Degeneration is a part of life itself, but by taking some simple steps the process can be slowed significantly: especially when it comes to the health of your back.
As previously mentioned, back pain can end up being crippling. And as your bones, joints, and muscles get weaker, it becomes easier for that pain to pop up. Conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, spondylosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis are all troubling issues that can lead to said back pain. Here are some steps to help avoid those issues and the potential for horrible back pain:
By consistently exercising, you can slow down the degeneration process. By working out and keeping your back muscles strong and healthy, it will take a much longer time for those muscles to break down to the point where you could experience back pain.
At the same time, that does not mean you should be going to the gym every day and deadlift until you can’t feel your legs or lower back. Instead of going overboard, you should be considerate of all the muscles in your back. The latissimus dorsi, trapezius muscles, rhomboid muscle, and obliques should not take precedence over one another.
It is also worth mentioning that exercising can lead to weight loss. That isn’t new news, but getting yourself to a healthy weight puts less pressure on your body than if you were out of shape.
So by making sure that all these muscles are exercised healthily-and without overdoing it- you can become a healthier you while setting yourself up for future success in terms of your back health.
Now while exercise is well and good in terms of strengthening your back, you will always need to make sure you give yourself some rest. You don’t want to be someone who ends up getting treatment for scoliosis as an adult just because you continued to overwork yourself. Whether at work or the gym, that point remains the same.
By giving yourself much needed rest, you can regenerate your muscles and give them time to grow. If you were to just continue to put wear and tear on your body every single day, the exercise that you did put the effort into doing would almost be worth nothing. It would just be a contributing factor as to why your body gets sorer and achier as you get older. So if you need to, use ice or a heating pad, and rest those sore muscles when needed.
Have A Balanced Diet
You have heard it for years and years: having a healthy diet is very important. And yes, that can appear to be a pretty obvious statement, but a lot of people never put the concept into practice. That in turn makes it much easier to become a person in their 60s with that dreaded deep-rooted back pain.
By having a balanced diet, you make sure that you can get all the necessary vitamins and minerals required to be as healthy as can be. For example, you should make sure that you get enough folate in your diet.
According to Mayo Clinic, folate is, “ . . .important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function”. With that being said, folate helps that muscle growth that is crucial in keeping you as strong as possible as you age.
At the same time, you should make sure that you drink enough water, and eat enough proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Satisfying your bodily needs is all included in having a healthy diet. It doesn’t just come down to having enough vitamin A, vitamin C, or zinc.
If you really wanted to, you could dive deep into all sorts of journals and articles to see what all the other vitamins and minerals are good for. That would help you educate yourself on the true importance of a healthy diet, giving you the tools you need to help become the best you, you can be in old age. So remember: a healthy body now will lead to a healthy body down the road.
In a lot of ways, physical therapy (PT) has a lot of the same benefits as exercise. This type of therapy is focused on strengthening targeted muscles. For example, if you were to hurt a muscle, like your latissimus dorsi, PT would attack that muscle, as well as the surrounding muscles to make sure your lat has a lot of strength and structure around it.
That build-up and strength that PT can give your muscles will make it easier to prevent further injuries: just like the aforementioned exercise.
The difference between just going to the gym and exercising and PT is the fact that PT is more guided. A physical therapist will be with you side by side showing you proper technique on how to properly bolster whatever muscle you are targeting (in this instance, your back). Still, that does not mean one is more beneficial than the other. If both are done properly you can put yourself on the right trajectory to avoid any potential aches or pains.
The most common of the therapies is physical therapy, which is mentioned above. Still, there are other types of remedies that plenty of people find helpful in terms of helping their back and joint muscles. One example of this is acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a practice as old as time, but it is not practiced as much as it once was. It is more common for someone to go to physical therapy than it is to go get a hundred needles stuck into their back. Still, acupuncture can help relieve joint pain and benefit someone greatly if they take the time to do it.
Another thing you can do to help your muscles and any pain you have is by going and getting a massage. Having someone remove any knots in your muscles can help ease any current aches you are experiencing. Getting a massage can make you feel like an entirely new person.
But regardless, it should be recommended to try and participate in all of these activities. If you are willing to put in the work now, you will be able to help your future self.
By staying active, eating healthy, and taking necessary rest, you allow yourself the opportunity to be healthy for a long time. Seriously, wouldn’t you rather be able to take a job in your mid-60s instead of having to grab a cane just to take out the trash? Of course you would: so take care of yourself now, so you can reap the benefits later.