It’s a good idea to practice good posture at any age. However, maintaining good posture as you get older can help prevent age-related spine conditions like osteoporosis. Whether you used to have good posture or you’ve developed bad sitting and standing habits over time, making an effort to keep things in proper alignment can do wonders for your aging spine. Here are a few tips for maintaining good posture as you get older, recommended by the professionals at The Spine Institute in Los Angeles.
Find a Class
Regardless of age, people tend to stick with something if it’s fun. For this reason, joining a class focusing on activities likely to help your posture can be a great way to maintain your natural alignment. Water aerobics, for example, can help improve your core strength and stability without putting too much pressure on your muscles and joints.
Dietary Changes and Supplements
Bone loss from improper nutrition can further weaken the spine, making it painful to attempt to readjust your posture or remain in a proper sitting position without experiencing some pain. Postmenopausal women in particular tend to have more weakening in muscles around the spine than men around the same age that can affect posture. Making an effort to eat foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium, or taking supplements, can help strengthen your spine as you work to maintain your posture.
Little things like crooking your neck to one side when talking on your cellphone or excessively leaning forward while sitting can knock your posture out of whack. Consider incorporating some of the following posture exercises into your daily routine (with a doctor’s approval):
• Head presses (holding chin and neck straight while looking forward, also reduces muscle tightness in the spine)
• Standing back bends (stand with hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart and buttocks against a table, lean back slightly while keeping head straight)
• Yoga or Pilates (places your spine in a neutral position)
Posture changes with age aren’t necessarily your fault. Your center of balance changes as you get older, which increases the risk of falling. Taking steps to improve or regain good posture can literally put you in a position to remain active while reducing your risk of developing age-related spinal conditions.
If lasting back or neck pain continues to hinder your ability to carry out daily activities, it might be time to consult with a spinal specialist about non-surgical spinal treatments that can alleviate persistent pain. Call (310) 828-7757 to request an in-person consultation with a board-certified spine surgeon at The Spine Institute who can help determine the source of your pain and identify possible treatment options.