From a broader point of view, spine-related problems can affect anyone. However, if you dive into demographics related to back issues, certain groups of people tend to be at higher risk for spine problems than others. This sometimes happens because of genetics, and at other times, it has to do with factors that often apply to specific individuals through no fault of their own. Below are three groups of people who have a higher risk of experiencing back issues.
Spinal degeneration is typically associated with age. It’s the kind of wear and tear that naturally occurs over time and may contribute to aches and pains later in life, which is why older adults are considered a high-risk group for back issues. As years of stress build up, spinal discs can break down or shift, which could result in nerve irritation or spinal column shifting. There’s nothing you can do to keep from aging. However, you can make an effort to keep your spine in good shape as you age by:
• Getting regular exercise
• Being mindful of your diet
• Minimizing repetitive back strain
Giving birth is one reason women tend to be more susceptible to back issues. Related pelvic and muscular changes can place more pressure on the lower part of the spine. Even later in life, women who’ve had kids can still have spine-related discomfort. Whether or not they’ve given birth, women are also at increased risk for back issues because of the greater possibility of developing osteoarthritis and a bone disease called osteoporosis. The risk of developing issues related to these conditions may be reduced by:
• Exercising on a regular basis
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Getting more calcium and vitamin D to keep spinal bones strong
Of the three things mentioned here, excess weight is the risk factor for back issues that’s the most controllable. Extra pounds can contribute to an assortment of spine-related problems because of added pressure placed on the spine. Excess weight can also throw off spinal alignment and affect your activity level and other lifestyle habits. The good news is shedding even a little bit of extra weight can be good for your spine. Reducing your weight also protects your spine’s spongy discs and minimizes your risk of developing nerve-related symptoms. While every situation is different, it’s often possible to lose excess weight by:
• Managing your calorie intake
• Finding enjoyable and convenient ways to exercise—even gentle options like yoga and water-based activities can be beneficial
• Working with your doctor or a dietician to receive more personalized advice
Being proactive about spine-related issues can benefit anyone, regardless of whether or not they fit into one of the three groups mentioned above. Talk to your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon to learn more about steps you can take to keep your back and its various parts healthy.
Even if you’re in a group that has a higher risk of back issues, healthy lifestyle patterns can offset many of those potential negative effects. If you have back problems, no matter what the cause, relief is available. Whether their back issues need to be alleviated by nonsurgical methods such as physical therapy or surgical procedures such as a state-of-the-art spinal fusion alternative, Beverly Hills residents trust the spinal health experts at The Spine Institute to diagnose and treat their back issues and get them back to their normal activities as soon as possible. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation