According to a news report in The Bellingham Herald, focusing on back health through prompt diagnosis, exercise, and treatment may help prevent back pain and ensure a person is strong and stable as they grow older. Stuart Weinstein, MD, a clinical professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, states that back pain is not an inevitable sign of aging, but instead is a sign of a physical problem with the spine or back that should be addressed before it worsens into a disability.
Problems such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and other degenerative back problems can worsen over time, and the pain may lead seniors to become more sedentary and fearful of activities. A recent study shows that as many as 25% of adults aged 65 years and older complain of back pain. Therefore, understanding how to treat and cope with back pain is essential for seniors. One way to treat this common problem is to exercise, and exercises to improve back strength include movement in water.
Yoga positions can be beneficial as well, but poses that may aggravate the spine should be avoided.
For any common back problems, such as scoliosis, each should be treated individually. Treatments can include physical therapy, medication, and surgery. Physical therapy may help those suffering with back pain understand the appropriate postures, lifting, and movement that promote a healthy back. Exercises, such as Pilates, may strengthen and extend joints that can cause this issue. Also, the report notes that myofascial release work can release the tissue that surrounds muscles so the muscles can relax and stretch without strain.
Exercise should fundamentally strengthen weak muscles so a person can return to normal movement. Overall, exercise and treatment is important regardless of a person’s age, according to Mike Locke, director of fitness and sports performance at Bellingham Athletic Club.
[Source: The Bellingham Herald]