Aches and nagging pains affect a lot of men over their 40s, and you might be one of them. The symptoms may range from slight stiffness to chronic pain, and they can be caused by poor posture, injury or something you’ve been doing in the gym. For middle age back pain, there are two major issues you might need to look at: your posture and your mobility.
AVOIDING MIDDLE AGE BACK PAIN
IT’S COMMON BUT PREVENTABLE
Pain in the lower back is a common complaint of older adults. And while the occasional aches can be annoying in our daily life, back pain can hold you back in the gym. The first thing you need to do, though, is to rule out the possibility of back injury or arthritis.
If you are experiencing acute back pain that starts to affect not just your workouts but your life in general, it’s always best to check with a doctor for your best course of action.
CHECK AND STRENGTHEN YOUR SPINE
Once you’ve ruled out the possibility of back injury or arthritis, you need to check on your posture first. Experts would agree that the majority of chronic back pain in adults can be the result of sitting for too long, and bad posture tends to worsen the pain.
Sitting for hours can lead to accumulated pressure on the discs in your back. If you often sit for hours at work, consider taking a break every half-hour or so to move around. Sitting also puts more strain on portions of your spine compared to standing or walking, so make sure to get up from your seat every once in a while.
Building a stronger core with simple exercises such as planks can have a big impact on your back health, even if you have suffered an injury. Painkillers only mask the problem and do little to fix it.
CHECK YOUR MOBILITY
Not all bodies are created equal. If you’ve been doing gym exercises, you already have a good idea on the range of movement you can do with your arms and legs. Finding out how your back responds to your exercise is a matter of checking your form. Listen to your body while exercising and don’t overstress your back.
EXERCISE, EXERCISE AND MORE EXERCISE
Physical activity and strength training can have huge benefits to your spine. Aside from building flexibility, the increased blood flow to your back can help relieve the pressure on your back. Strengthening your core muscles, as well as your support muscles in your lower back, can also go a long way towards relieving pressure on your spine.
While medication, heat packs and massage provide temporary relief, exercise will give you long-term benefits that will help your back pain. If you have back injury or arthritis, get a program customised for your specific needs from a physical therapist or other expert.
Middle age back pain is one reminder that your spine is not what it used to be, but you don’t need to put up with it forever. Invest in your back health with proper posture, exercise, and expert advice, and you probably will be able to say goodbye to your back pain medications for good.