How does our spines change as we age?

Spine Injury

The spine is made up of the following structures:

Bones(vertebrae), ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, and cartilage.

Inside the spine we have the spinal cord, a part of the central nervous system, its membranes and spinal fluid. So, the spine functions as a protector and container of the spinal column.

Our discs dry out and provide fewer vertebrae cushioning. They also become more vulnerable to herniation.

The little cushions or discs in the spine, that functions mainly as shock absorbers, gets less pliable and more rigid. This can lead to herniation, which can lead to the gel-like fluid in the centre of the disc pushing out (a bulging disc / “slipped disc”). This can then, subsequently, put pressure on a nerve root resulting in sciatica.

The ligaments and muscles in our spine become less flexible.

As we get older, we get stiffer. Flexibility and elasticity are lost due to old injuries, wear and tear and normal physiological ageing processes.

Our spine joints lose fluid and cartilage, contributing to spinal osteoarthritis.

This may also include the deposits of small pieces of bone inside the joints, called osteophytes. This can be extremely painful because it changes the joint congruence.

Our vertebrae lose mineral density and become thinner.

As we age our bone density decreases. From the age of 25 we lose bone density according to various sources.

We need to take care of our spines – we just have this one.

Contact us for an appointment to let us teach you how to take care of your spine.