In much of western culture, we tend to view old age as a time when pain and medications are a normal part of life. It is true that the body changes as we age; cartilage wears from joints, bone density decreases and muscle loss is common. Yet time does not necessarily doom our advanced years to pain. Light exercise routines have been shown to help those over 60 to avoid pain and medications.
The lower back is a common sight of pain in those young and old. Over the years, the discs that separate vertebrae suffer wear. The lower spine bears the brunt of the upper body’s weight; the discs in this region are most susceptible to wear. Degenerated discs can destabilize the spine, leading to hyper-mobility and painful friction of vertebrae.
Movements from the East
The best exercise plans for those advanced in age are ones that allow the body to move slowly and gently. Tai chi and qigong are two forms of Chinese movement that may be beneficial to those seeking a movement plan for lower back pain.
Vic Vanesse, 71, teaches qigong and tai chi classes in Illinois explains that the slow movements of these programs emphasize proper posture, balance, strength-building, and joint mobility.
He also tells us about Patricia Parker, 64, a nine-year cancer survivor. She has studied tai chi and qigong for two years under Vanesse, and credits these movement programs with her recovery. She feels healthy and energetic, and believes that anyone her age can feel the same way if they keep active.
Along with exercise, stretching is an essential component of overall health and a pain-free back, whether you’re 20 or 80. “A lack of flexibility seems to be a contributing factor to the onset of injuries and overuse problems like tendonitis, bursitis and lower back pain,” says Andy Ciarletta, clinical director of physical therapy at Planet Fitness Health Club in Massachusetts.
Stretching serves many functions: to warm the muscles before a workout, to flush out built-up toxins from the muscles after a workout, to maintain flexibility and range of motion of joints. Ciarletta explains that different types of stretching should be used for warmups and cool-downs. “Dynamic” stretches, those conducted with movement, like arm circles, are best before a workout since they increase heart rate and blood flow to muscles. After a workout, “static” stretches, those held in place, are most beneficial to preventing injury and soreness.
No matter what your age, it is never too late to take charge of your health. A preventative approach to pain is far superior to seeking medical care after its onset. The best tool for fighting pain is your own body. If you learn how to keep it moving, you can avoid unnecessary pain and medications.
This book, “Becoming a Supple Leopard” is paramount to any lifestyle change you want to make. I understand habits are hard to break and often don’t add up to the pain relief you want to feel right away. Dr. Kelly Starrett understands what this means because he has been there. Therefore, this book is what you need to overcome that back pain and move more freely with the principals taught in this book. Get a copy today and start enjoying pain free movement for the rest of your life.