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Avoid Back Pain and Injury As You Age

Oct 27, 2016 04:26PM ● By Dia

It might be tempting to chalk those backaches and occasional twinges up as inevitable side effects of aging -- and it is true that everybody starts feeling a little wear and tear on the body eventually. But that doesn't mean that back pain and injuries are inevitable. Using these four strategies can help keep your back healthy throughout your life:

Stay Active

Anybody with back pain will tell you that sometimes, the last thing you want to do is move -- but once you get started with appropriate, gentle exercise, you'll always feel better. Your spine was designed to move, so keeping that movement up is one of the best ways to avoid back pain.

Anything counts, from walking to lifting weights, swimming and dancing; but exercises with a clear component of core strengthening are the best of all, because they strengthen the muscles that support your spine.

Watch Your Weight

Carrying extra body weight is tiring! It also puts a lot of extra stress on all your bones and joints, including your back. Being proactive about maintaining a healthy weight also helps keep your back healthy.

If you're already packing a few extra pounds, you may be surprised by how much better you feel with just a small weight loss. Gentle, low-impact exercises like walking and swimming can help you get the weight off and strengthen your back at the same time.

Limit Sitting Time

We sit all the time -- at our desks, at the dining room table, or when we're visiting with friends. A little sitting is fine, but sitting for long periods is very hard on your back.

Limit sitting time and give yourself periodic breaks by using a sit/stand desk, holding walking meetings whenever you can, or setting a timer to go off every 30 minutes as a reminder to get up and stretch. When you do sit, use good ergonomics.

Know How to Lift

Improper lifting technique is the most common cause of back injuries -- and that doesn't always mean in the weight room. Even something as light as a bag of groceries can hurt you if you're holding it away from your body as you lift it up, or if you try to lift using the muscles of your back instead of your legs.

Instead, practice safe lifting technique to prevent back pain: Squat down to pick up the object, keeping your hips underneath your body. Hold the object close against your body, then use the muscles of your glutes and legs to lift the weight up instead of hinging from your hips or back. 

  Contact Complete Care

For more information about avoiding back pain as you age or to schedule emergency care call your nearest Complete Care ER, with 18 locations in Texas there is sure to be an ER near you.


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