With age, different factors may decrease our back health and limit our ability to make the most of life. What is more, age starts impacting and limiting our functionality. With time, for instance, you may experience more back pain, neck pain, spasms, and pinches. Yet, it is good to be aware of the different challenges you can expect at each stage. This way you can also take preventive measures to ensure that your spine is in top shape. Ready?
Children in this age run the risk of developing ‘forward head position’. This is is a common posture-related conditions where the head protrudes forward. This unnatural position leads to neck muscle imbalance. The forward head position used to be associated with the office workspace previously. Now that technology has found its way in the classroom, it has become a common phenomenon among kids too. Other factors linked to faulty posture include weighty backpacks and uncomfortable desks.
Tip: Make sure your kid is active. Instruct them how to keep a good posture when walking, sitting and using technology.
Teens spend even more time slouched on their school desks than pre-teens. They often struggle with growth spurts and body issues. This is why they become more susceptible to disorders like thoracic kyphosis and structural scoliosis. Hereditary musculoskeletal conditions are more likely to manifest themselves during puberty. Some facts to consider at this stage include body image, suitable nutrition, sports activities, and technology use.
Tip: Encourage your teen to stay active, keep a good posture and let you know if they experience any back pain or discomfort. Make sure they eat healthy nutritional food.
In adults, the body has more or less completed its growth. At this stage work and leisure, lifestyle poses the biggest concerns to back health. You may slouch at the office desk in front of the computer or spend long hours doing heavy manual work. You may also find yourself stuck in transport. Your back is at risk in each of these scenarios. Other important risk factors include uncomfortable clothing and shoe wear. Unhealthy habits include excessive smartphone use, bad diet regimes and inactivity.
Tip: We know how tempting it is to give in to your couch after stressful days. Try to find some time for yoga or other training exercises for flexibility. Eat healthy and keep your posture sharp.
Elderly people struggle with posture control and posture balance due to muscle loss. This can lead to an inability to perform basic activities as well as inability to keep balance. Balance loss may often result in falls and injuries. The loss in balance impairs the senses, as well as the vestibular system and reflex function. Vital risk factors include unhealthy or bad nutrition, neglect, and sedentary lifestyle.
Tip: Make sure you take good care of your body and mind. Nourish it with good food and exercise gently. Tai Chi seems to be a good activity balancing meditation with exercise .
During pregnancies weight gain, as well as joint and ligament laxity all burden the spine. This can lead to back pain and pelvic pain, which may progress with the advancement of the pregnancy. There are different traditional and alternative therapies, which may help alleviate the pain . Physiotherapy, acupuncture, water gymnastics, herbal extracts, yoga and others provide good prenatal care.
Tip: Water aerobics, maternity support belts and acupuncture are some good remedies for back pain. However, if you experience nagging back pain consult with your physician first.
 Ross MC (1998) The therapeutic effects of Tai Chi for the elderly. Journal of Gerontological Nursing 24: 45±47
 Pennick V, Young G. (2007) Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001139. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001139.pub2.