Chronic back pain is a common problem reported by about 50 percent of adults living in community care facilities, according to one study. Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a disabling and challenging pain condition affecting older adults, who sometimes have to seek out professionals or the top spine specialist to find answers for their problems.
There are three primary reasons back pain tends to get worse with aging:
- Decreased muscle strength and mass associated with aging (sarcopenia).This could be due to a decrease in number of muscle fibers, the size of the individual fibers or both.
- Fast twitch fiber atrophy is also associated with aging. This results in slower muscle contraction but this can be reversed with training.
- Decreased muscle attenuation is associated with aging muscle.
Exercise for older adults
Staying active is important for every age group, but particularly beneficial for older adults. Many experts suggest that it is one way to prevent many diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There are four main types of exercises that older adults should consider participating in: endurance, strengthening, stretching, and balance exercises. Each of these has particular benefits for the older adult. It is essential that before beginning any exercise program no matter how strenuous or easy you think it is that it be cleared with your NJ primary care physician.
These types of activities improve the heart and the circulatory system. They are commonly called “aerobic” exercises but this does not mean signing up for a marathon. It can be walking, swimming or riding a bike (stationary or otherwise). These can all help get the heart pumping and increase circulation which can be beneficial for many things such as lowering blood pressure. It is important to seek out a professional who can help design an aerobic exercise program that will be appropriate for your needs and present fitness level. Continue reading