The Spine undergoes a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis and as you age the vertebrae or bones and the discs deteriorates leading into back pains or at times pain in the hands and legs.
As you cross 50s your Spinal disc and joints degenerates which means they lose the strength of being a good shock absorber which would avoid the friction between the vertebrae. At times the canal made by the vertebrae through which the spinal cord passes can become narrower causing lower back pain and leg pain. Also a vertebrae can get displaced and slip on the below one causing discomfort and ultimately back pain. Many a times the pain that occurs due to the slipped disc would not arise in the back but would be felt in legs or hands.
Some of the symptoms that you should observe are:
- Sharp pain that would interrupt your sleep
- Pain that is at peak in the morning and then at night
- Shooting pain in legs or hands after just a short distance walk, and instant relief from the pain by just sitting for a couple of minutes
- Stiffness and loss of flexibility when you try to bend from the waist.
Most of the back pains at an older age can be treated from physiotherapy or Minimally Invasive procedures. Today there are safer methods of treatments available for Spine problems, so do not fear to consult a Spine Specialist for your back pain.
TIPS FOR SENIOR CITIZEN
Some of the tips that you need to follow to slow down the deterioration of the spine with age are:
It is never too late to start your journey towards fitness. As you age, the density of your bones reduces and which is the root cause of fractures in old age. This bone loss accelerates once you cross 50 years. Studies show that this bone loss is more due to sedentary lifestyle than due to age and hence to slow down the bone loss, it is important to keep moving and maintain an active lifestyle. Include core strengthening activities like yoga or try to walk in the building if not outside for 20 to 30mins every day.
At older age, excess weight invites a lot of health issues like heart diseases, blood pressure and diabetes. An ideal weight is a must from overall health perspective and also for spine health. More weight means more pressure on Spine, and more pressure means faster degeneration of spinal bones which already is vulnerable at older age. Hence, ensure that you maintain an ideal weight to keep the pressure away from building up on your spine.
As you age, your metabolism slows down and hence to prevent weight gain you need to consume lesser calories. While you consume lesser calories, your body’s requirement for nutrients doesn’t decreases, which means you need more nutrients from food which is low on calories. A balanced and nutritious diet is a must in older age. Avoid packaged food, restaurant food, sweetened food and fats that stay solid at room temperature. Eat more of vegetables, dals, fruits and whole- grains. Add Vitamin & Calcium supplements if suggested by your doctor
As you cross 30’s you start to keep a check of your cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes by doing test at regular intervals. Similar to that at older age,you need to keep a close check on your bone health by examining your Calcium, Vitamin D & B12 levels. There are Blood tests and Bone density assessment (DEXA scan) that you can do to determine your bone health. If you are facing back pain, leg pain or pain in wrist then consult your Spine Specialist and get the tests done as suggested by him.