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What Are the Top Things a Middle-Aged Person Should Do to Avoid Back Problems?

Jul 5, 2018

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By: John Soliman, DO, FACS

As we age, simple, daily activities, such as lifting things off the ground or falling asleep on a couch can lead to prolonged back problems that only continue to get worse. For many, back problems are something they expect to develop as they get older, but there are certain things middle-aged people can do to avoid developing back problems or stop the intensity of existing pain.   

 

USE GOOD MECHANICS 

I would say the top thing that a middle-aged person can do to avoid back problems is always, always, always use good back mechanics in whatever you’re doing.  If you drop a pencil on the floor, the first thing a lot of people do is bend at the back.  Why are you doing that?  Do you need to do that?  Number one, if you bend the wrong way, you twist the wrong way, you pick up something the wrong way, then you have put yourself at a higher risk of a disc herniation.  So, utilize appropriate back mechanics by utilizing your lower extremities to pick an object up, or by putting your hand on another inanimate object that can help you, for example, instead of stressing your spine for no reason.   

 

REGULAR CORE STRENGTHING 

The second-best thing that somebody can do is maintain a good core strengthening program, whether that’s finding a physical therapist or joining a gym and having a personal trainer guide you through core strengthening.  Not everything is appropriate for the spine. For example, I’ve seen a lot of female patients who attended Zumba classes and did a lot of bending, twisting and twirling all at once.  If form is not perfect, as with any exercise, the chance for injury can be high.  A personal trainer who is well trained in the appropriate muscle groups to strengthen the core can be beneficial.  Of course, you hear about crunches, you hear about leg lifts, you hear about pelvic thrusts.  These are all exercises that help strengthen the low back and the core muscles. 

 

KEEP A HEALTHY WEIGHT 

It’s very well known that patients with a higher BMI have a higher risk of back problems.  The reason for this is because you’re putting a lot of stress on the spine with the extra weight that you’re carrying around in the abdomen, so abdominal girth tends to create more lumbar spine problems.  The bigger the girth, the more lumbar spine problems.  So, maintaining an appropriate BMI and reducing weight and coming out of the obesity category have all been proven to show an improvement in spine and spine related problems. 

 

If you are experiencing back problems and hope to end the constant pain you feel, contact Back Pain Centers of America at 813.750.0706 for a referral to one of back pain experts located near you

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