Some conditions like spinal stenosis and disc degeneration naturally become worse with age, often contributing to back pain that reaches a point where it seriously affects quality of life. Not all age-related back pain can be prevented. However, as a leading Beverly Hills spine surgery center we can recommend ways to increase the odds of minimizing or managing any discomfort you may experience later in life.
Adopt Healthy Sleep Habits
Recuperative sleep (the deep sleep of the R.E.M. sleep phase) promotes cell rejuvenation that can help keep nerves around the spine healthy. Since insomnia is common in seniors, medication or adjustments in sleep habits may be necessary to achieve this goal.
Streamline Your Diet
Added weight can aggravate back conditions that usually become more problematic with age like a narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis) by placing added pressure on your spine. Refined grains, whole milk, sugary drinks and tropical fruits are some of the foods you’ll want to avoid if you don’t want inflammation often associated with back pain to linger. Instead, consider incorporating the following foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties into your diet to help prevent age-related back pain:
• Ginger (also helps with joint pain)
• Olive oil (can counter inflammation associated with degenerative joint diseases)
• Salmon (and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
• Turmeric (may also help ease pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis)
Get Regular Exercise
The stronger your back muscles are, the less likely you are to be dogged by ongoing pain as you get older. Even 20-30 minutes of regular activity each day can help maintain healthy back muscles and related tendons and ligaments. Exercises that may help prevent age-related back pain include:
• Stretching (to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of muscle injury)
• Yoga (helps with balance and posture, which can affect back pain)
• Strength training
Abnormalities of the spine are more common among people 55 and older. The key to preventing chronic pain related to such abnormalities and conditions is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reporting any lingering pain and discomfort to your doctor sooner rather than later to increase the odds of meaningful treatment.
If chronic back pain is significantly affecting your quality of life, it might be time to visit The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. One of our qualified and experienced board-certified spine physicians can diagnose the source of your pain and review all possible treatment options. Call (310) 828-7757 to schedule a consultation.