Can Regular Exercise Improve Spine Health in Older Adults?
As we get older, exercise seems to become less and less appealing, but the truth remains: exercise is good for us. Not moving can weaken our core muscles and lead to other health problems.
When your body begins to age, you might think you are too sore for back exercise, but an exercise plan can reduce pain over time. Older adults who exercise regularly develop better muscle tone and reduce their risk of a heart attack and stroke. Regularly exercising the back muscles may help improve and strengthen your spine.
How Exercise Helps our Spinal Health
The back and abdominal muscles act as an internal corset supporting the vertebrae. The vertebra is discs, facet joints, and ligaments all working together to create the spine structure. When the back and abdominal muscles are weak, they can’t support the back properly, leading to injury.
Regular exercise can keep you at a healthy weight, which prevents strain on your back from being overweight. Apart from maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise helps relieve stress on your back. Working on stretching, strengthening, and conditioning exercise can result in stronger muscles that support your spine and body weight. When your spine is supported, it is less likely that you will suffer an injury or back pain.
Engaging in exercise helps keep our back healthy by allowing the discs in our vertebra to exchange fluids. A healthy disc swells with water and then squeezes it out, distributing the fluids needed for nourishment for the disc. Fluid exchange helps reduce the swelling in other soft tissues that surround a possibly injured disc. A lack of exercise is sure to increase swelling of the disc as it becomes malnourished and begins to degenerate.
Exercise reduces stiffness in our back by keeping the connective fibers of ligaments and tendons flexible. Improved mobility prevents stress and tears in the connective fibers, tendons, and ligaments, preventing injuries.
4 Ways Exercise Helps Our Back
To summarize the benefits of exercise for our back, here are five things to remember:
- Strong muscles to support the back
- Strong abdominal muscles that improve posture
- Increased flexibility allows for more mobility
- A stronger spinal structure prevents injuries
Our bodies will grow old and stop working the way we’re accustomed to, but we can prevent pain and future issues with proper exercise. As our back ages, we can help it remain strong and healthy by doing the work.
Exercises to Strengthen the Back
Every exercise plan serves a purpose. There are workout plans just for losing weight or losing weight in a specific area. When it comes to our back, it’s important to do the right workouts. These exercises can be done at any age and help strengthen our back:
- Water exercises
- Tai chi
Back strengthening exercises can consist of the following:
- Standing back extension
- Forward back bend stretch
- Standing side back stretch
- Seated backbend stretch
- Shoulder squeeze
- Shoulder rotation
There are many different types of exercises. What you need to focus on when exercising will shift depending on the individual. Our bodies are different and require an individualized approach. Keep your unique needs in mind when beginning the process of planning an exercise program.
Spinal Pain Relief at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
If exercising and over-the-counter pain relief has not reduced your pain, it is probably time to see a medical professional. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our experienced neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians work together to give the best personalized treatment for your spinal condition or back disorder.
Our medical team has successfully performed thousands of minimally invasive procedures, allowing our patients to feel less discomfort and quick pain relief. We provide exceptional patient-centered care in a safe environment followed by optimum results.