Back injuries are more prevalent among seniors. Although old-age contributes to some back injuries, most injuries result from handling daily activities inappropriately. Lifestyle changes that require heavy sitting and standing could also cause back injuries. As a senior, you should watch out for the following practices to avoid back injury.
Maintain Good Sleeping Posture
Seniors sleep longer, but their sleeping patterns are pretty short. A senior can sleep for two hours, wake up, stay awake for an hour, and go back to bed. Such sleeping patterns increase the chances of wrong sleep postures.
And as you know, the wrong sleep posture can cause back injury and sciatica. Keep your position reclined and fetal when sleeping on an adjustable. Sleep on the side while keeping the pillow between your knees.
Maintain a Safe Posture
Maintaining a good posture when sitting or sleeping can help seniors prevent back injuries. Avoid slouching over your telephone or computer as that stresses the back, causing injuries and pains.
Stick to the ergonomically recommended sitting position at home and in the office. Do not sit a whole day in front of a computer. Take breaks and perform some stretches to keep your back curves streamlined and strong.
When you stand, maintain a straight posture keeping the feet shoulder-width apart and the head aligned with the body. As you sit, keep the feet resting flat on the front and never cross the legs. Keep the knees behind the ankles and the neck and upper back straight.
Keep Spine-Supporting Muscles Strong
The ligaments and muscles supporting the spine get weaker as you age or when exposed to injury-triggering risks. Keeping the core strong is one way to stabilize the spine and prevent back injury and pains. Engage in exercises that promise to strengthen your core muscle groups.
Remember, an injured back can make it impossible to lift things, bend and stretch. You can engage in several exercises to keep your spine-supporting muscles strong. Low-impact aerobics activities with emphasis on walking for seniors does a great job of preventing back injury. Gentle exercises such as yoga can also do a great job of helping seniors avoid back injury.
As old age knocks, you will likely feel more stressed and unsatisfied. It won’t be a surprise if small things leave you with high anxiety and stress levels. However, do not forget that stress is a strong catalyst for back injuries. Stress changes your breathing patterns, ultimately straining your mid-back. The shoulders may also hunch up, ultimately causing pain in your middle and upper back.
Many studies have linked cigarette smoking to back injuries and pains. Smoking doubles the risk of heart disease and makes your body prone to colon and lung cancers. Smoking has been linked with worsening back pain issues and affecting your overall health. Smoking also increases the risk of back injuries.
It does so by damaging the arteries in your joints and discs. When the back joint and disc arteries are damaged, you’re more likely to experience back injury. In addition, smoking can cause osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disorder that causes back injury.
Do Not Over Exercise
Seniors have a range of issues they want to address through exercising. They want to minimize the risk of heart disease, stay fit, avoid obesity, and keep stronger. Such huge goals can make some seniors overdo some physical activities. However, never overdo any physical activity as that can leave you with more health issues.
First, excess physical activities are known to overstretch or tear up your lower back ligaments and muscles. Overstretched muscles and ligaments often cause muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. These all can lead to back injury and unending pains. Although back sprains and strains are treatable at home, they are better avoided.
The last thing a senior wants is to have back aches and injuries. Exercises and physical activities are the leading causes of back pains and aches. Understanding how to perform exercises is the first step to avoiding back injury. You should understand that sitting and sleeping postures can also make you prone to back injury. Know the basics of maintaining the proper posture when sleeping and sitting, and bid goodbye to common back injuries and pains.