How to keep your back healthy

How does the back work?

The human spine is also called the backbone. The backbone is not one bone. There are 33 bones in all. These are called vertebrae. They are stacked on top of each other to form the spine. Ligaments, muscles, and tendons support the bones. They hold vertebrae together. Muscles are attached to the vertebrae by bands of tissues called tendons. They help with movement.

Between each two vertebrae is a cushion known as a disc. These are shock absorbers for the spine. Think of them as rubber pads. The rubber on the outside is firm. The middle is more like jelly than rubber.

The spinal cord is made of many nerves. They run together. The nerves go from the brain to the tip of the spine. More nerves branch out from the spine. This allows messages to travel between the brain and the muscles, tissues, and organs of the body.

What is the lower back?

The lower back is made up of five vertebrae and six shock-absorbing discs. This carries most of the body's weight. The nerves carry messages from the brain to the muscles of the legs. The lower back provides strength, power, support, and stability.

How to keep the lower back healthy

All of us get oder. As we age, we lose bone mass. We become less strong and flexible. This process can lead to occasional backaches and pains. The best way to slow down this process is to follow these tips:

  • Exercise regularly. This will make muscles stronger. It will help keep you more flexible.
  • Use safe lifting techniques. Lift with your legs, not your back. Bend your knees. Keep the weight close to your body. Do not twist when lifting.
  • Get to and stay at a proper body weight.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Keep a good posture by sitting up straight. Do not slouch when standing