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Back Pain Through the Ages

Most people will experience back pain at some point, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people come to accept a level of discomfort as part and parcel of their daily lives. Most back pain is avoidable if people have even a basic awareness of the root causes and make some simple adjustments.

Small changes incorporated into daily routines can, over time, make a profound difference.

In your teens
Teenagers today tend to spend prolonged periods of time on electronic devices, impacting their spines at a time when they are still developing and potentially causing a lifetime of bad posture. Naturally my advice here is to limit the amount of time spent using handheld devices. However, simple changes such as holding the device at eye-level and avoiding binge-watching TV on smartphones or tablets in bed with your head propped up, can help counteract some of the damage.

A handy stretch for neck/shoulder tension and headaches is to lie backwards over a small rolled up towel to support the arch in your neck, for two-five minutes a couple of times a day.

In your late twenties/early thirties
This is when the repercussions of bad habits from your youth can start to be felt. This, coupled with prolonged periods of sitting down at desks, can lead to the onset of early back pain, commonly in the form of general back stiffness and tension across the shoulders and back.

I would recommend some form of conscientious exercise for this age group, such as attending the gym, or swimming, two or three times per week. Mixing up standing and sitting whenever possible is also important.

In your thirties:
I see a large proportion of disc herniations (slipped discs) in this age group, particularly among women during pregnancy and post-childbirth. This is because during pregnancy the body grows so quickly and weakens the back muscles, leading to the altered ‘sway back’ posture. Extreme cases can lead to pain and numbness down one side of the body, which increases after standing or sitting. A great exercise for women is to stand with your head, middle back, bum and heels against a wall to help ‘reset’ your body’s posture and remove stress from the lower spine.

In your forties:
Sciatica is extremely common in the 40+ age group, causing varying degrees of discomfort in the lower back and leg. I would always recommend seeking professional help whenever pain does not dissipate within a couple of weeks, but in the mean-time sufferers should try to avoid bending forwards for the first 15 minutes every morning.

Fitness fanatics in this age group should cut-down on high-impact activities, such as road running and high intensity aerobic classes, which can now really start to take their toll on the body. Swimming is a great alternative or if you like gym-based cardio, the cross trainer can be a great option and is my “go-to” for those recovering from back pain or sciatica.

Fifties, sixties and beyond!
This age group is synonymous with bone and muscle degeneration which can cause the posture to deteriorate. I always tell my patients in this phase of life to not focus so much on stretching their bodies, but instead to strengthen the back muscles which support the spine. ‘Core vacuum’ exercises are great for this and involve using your deep core muscles to   pull your belly button to your spine. Try this lying on your back to begin with, until you’ve mastered the technique and can do it ‘at will’ while standing.

SOURCE: https://www.hippocraticpost.com/ageing/back-pain-through-the-ages/


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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