Did you know that the un-noticed injuries that we have throughout our life contribute to the amount of aches & pains, and ultimate Osteoarthritis, we experience when we are older?
From an early age we all experience what is called micro-trauma [ unnoticed injuries]that are caused by very small strains and bruises that occur when, for example, we fall over during childhood. These are relatively insignificant because as youngsters our bodies are supple enough to absorb the impact of these falls.
Once teenage years are reached bones are starting to fully form to accommodate growth into adulthood and some of that suppleness starts to diminish and then small injuries take on more significance. E.g. carrying heavy school bags or being shaken up at a fair ground along with the unfortunate sedentariness of the PlayStation. [Being active and doing as little sitting as possible are key not only to healthy joints but also good health in general.] These traumas, along with any accidents or falls, can go undetected but there is an accumulative effect on the joints & tissues. Teenagers can complain about pains in their backs but these can pass quickly due to their rapid recovery rate. However this is another example of micro-trauma leaving its mark on our bodies! As a test ask your teenager to touch their toes as suppleness is a great indicator to the amount of micro-trauma they may be experiencing. If they can’t then you should limit the amount of sitting they do, encourage more activity and maybe have a one off check with an Osteopath. I recommend these once every 5 years from the age of ten regardless of symptoms, but more often if pain is being noticed. Some teenagers are very active with sports that perhaps may be a bit inappropriate for their age but that is a bit of a difficult call as many top sportsmen were child prodigies! Use the injury level as your guide as to whether they are doing too much. The good thing about youngsters is that they respond very quickly to physical treatments like Osteopathy and should be back playing sport very quickly.
Once you reach your twenties it is a time of peak physical fitness so aches and pain should be minimal. They might occur if you overdo the sport but even then you should recover very quickly. However once again you are laying the seeds for the future with micro trauma and if you are less active and more sedentary then the years from 40-60 might present themselves with more aches & pains than expected. This is a time when activity tends to take more of a back seat as family commitments supersede in one’s life. If you can make time for activity then you will reap the benefits of having more flexibility and less pain. However to keep aches & pains at bay now is the time to start an Osteopathic Spinal Maintenance Program which involves a back MOT twice a year in the same way you have a car or boiler service or a visit to the hygienist. Combining this with sensible lifting, caution when doing unusual physical exertion and participation in yoga, swimming, walking and jogging should lead the way to a healthy life experience.
With this regime in place the next twenty years [60-80] of your life should be relatively pain free and you still should be able to live life to the full doing the things that you love. If you neglect yourself and your back then it is highly likely that the degenerative changes of Osteoarthritis will significantly interfere with your life and you’ll find yourself taking regular doses of anti-inflammatory painkillers and limiting your activity levels. [ these pills by the way greatly increase your susceptibility to a heart attack if you are over 70]
REMEMBER IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW SUFFERS WITH ANY SPINAL PAINS THAT DON’T GO AWAY OF THEIR OWN ACCORD WITHIN THREE DAYS THEN BOOK A TREATMENT. THE QUICKER YOU DO THIS THE QUICKER YOU WILL RECOVER.
For further information about lifelong back care please give me a call 020 8954 2254