old-age

Striking Research: Seen in 60 out of every one hundred people over 60 years of age!

Our average life span is progressively increasing. Thanks to the positive developments in the world of medicine many diseases are treated a lot more easily than they were in the past. On the other hand our spinal system, which bears the load of our body, deteriorates more and more each day in the modern world. In fact such spinal deformities as serious scoliosis and increased kyphosis are encountered in 60 out of 100 people over 60. Furthermore it is very difficult to correct these problems. Acibadem Maslak Hospital Traumatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ahmet Alanay, talked about the research being done in this field by the European Spine Study Group, in which he himself is a member, and made some special recommendations.

Their lives are as difficult as that of patient with COPD

The European Spine Study Group, which includes specialists from Turkey, Spain, France and Switzerland, discussed in detail the issue of adult spinal deformities and compared their effect to other disorders like diabetes, blood pressure disorders, COPD and arthritis. The research was so striking that the group won the European Spinal Society’s best research study award. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Alanay, who pointed out that spinal deformities impact the quality of life just as much as other chronic illnesses added “Sometimes spinal problems are so serious that they prevent the patient being able to walk even 10 meters. This is as difficult as a COPD patient not being able to breathe comfortably”.

Problems increase with age

spineActually spinal deformities like scoliosis and kyphosis are more commonly known as problems that develop in the childhood and adolescence period. However due to the decline in physical activity that was brought in with the informatics era, long hours spent motionless in front of the computer and a sedate lifestyle, we now encounter spinal deformities as a serious health problems occurring in more advanced years. Especially the increased average life span compared to the past is another reason why these types of spinal disorders are being seen later in life. In our present day, when technology and science has reached an all new high, the expectation for a better quality of life is increasing and people who normally used to accept living with some health problems are now expecting a solution. Nonsurgical methods (physical therapy, pain therapy, etc.) are applied first in treating spinal disorders that are seen at an advanced aged. However, operations can also become necessary from time to time. The rate of complications during these procedures can be relatively high due to the advanced age of the patient. The surgical procedures that are resorted to when all other treatment options have been unsuccessful still achieve a distinct increase in quality of life despite the high rate of complications.

60 out of 100 people over 60 have spine problems

Spinal deformities are encountered in 60 out of every 100 people over 60 and this figure is expected to reach higher in the upcoming years. In order to keep this statistic from rising any higher we did need to change some of our habits.

7 SUGGESTIONS FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SPINE 

old-age-sport1- Pay special attention to your weight: Excess weight increases the load on your spine and limits movement. Eat healthy to maintain your form and relieve your spine. Also a diet rich in calcium helps you maintain balanced nutrition and strengthen your bones.
2- Keep your muscles strong with regular physical activity: Almost all of us have a sedentary lifestyle. We move as little as possible at the office or in the home and go everywhere by car or bus. This leads to weakening of our muscles. Your muscles must be strong in order to have a health spine structure. So be sure to devote half an hour of your day to exercise.
3-Stay away from inactivity: A sedentary lifestyle causes muscles to be weak and your spine to be unhealthy. This is why you should add as much activity to your life as possible.
4-Maintain good posture: The first rule to having a healthy spine is to maintain good posture. Good posture enables the spine to use less energy which achieves less fatigue. Thus good posture reduces the chance of spinal problems in later years.
5-Beware of high heels: Shoes that are too high-heeled or too flat have a negative effect on knee, hip and spinal health. With this in mind, make sure your heels are only 3-4 centimeters.
6-Stay away from cigarettes: Smoking prevents discs from getting nutrition and can cause back aches. In order to have a healthy spine do not smoke.
7-Make sure your bag is not heavy: The bag or laptop you carry on a daily basis may cause serious problems in your spine. So if you have back and neck aches in particular, do not carry heavy loads. When you do have to carry a heavy object, keep it close to your body and do not lift it above your waist.