Ways to Keep the Spine Healthy While Aging

Jack Miletic explains the different treatment options for maintaining a healthy spine while aging.

The spine is a vitally important part of the body that with age, can experience degeneration and weakening due to the physical demands of life.

There are various treatments for the spine that can improve one’s quality of life; treatments that focus on increasing/restoring range of motion, as well as making adaptations to the home to ensure that it is accessible and safe. Each patient is different and has different physical needs, so they should receive their own specific exercise prescription.

Are you wondering how to keep the back and spine healthy for yourself or a loved one? Jack Miletic, a spine physician at the Pain Institute in Orlando, Florida explains the different treatment options for maintaining a healthy spine while aging, below.

Increasing, Restoring and Maintaining Mobility

The first goal of any treatment program for the spine is to focus on increasing, restoring, and maintaining range of motion, flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and balance. This can be done by a series of core stabilization exercises performed regularly and engaging in fitness programs that follow core-strengthening principles.

Stabilization of the spine is a process that starts by focusing on strengthening smaller muscles in the lumbar and neutral spine areas. By strengthening muscles in the lumbar area, rotational movement and balancing of the spine is improved. Through neutral spine stabilization exercises, coordination, endurance, and strength are improved.

Adaptations to Improve Home Accessibility and Safety

It is not only important to rehabilitate the aging spine, but to accommodate it in all areas of one’s life such as at work and at home. Begin by educating clients on how to properly bend over and lift heavy objects. These proper lifting and bending techniques are crucial to ensuring a healthy back and spine, especially in the later years of life.

Jack Miletic

Posture, Transfers and Walking Skills

Another aspect of treating the spine properly is to educate patients and clients on preventative care, such as sitting and standing correctly, moving properly to and from different positions, and walking correctly with good posture. Teaching patients about these techniques will help to prevent falls and future damage from occurring to the spine.

Increasing Fitness

Additionally, having clients increase their level of fitness, as well as implementing fitness programs that focus on building core strength can greatly increase overall patient strength and fitness, which directly benefits spine health.

Energy Conservation, Joint Protection, and the Need for Assistive Devices

Teaching patients different techniques that help to restore and utilize the energy in their bodies, protecting joints in the back, legs and hips, and using assistive devices if necessary can avoid further wear and tear on the spine.

Improving Sensation, Joint Proprioception and Reducing Pain

By focusing on improving sensation, joint proprioception and reducing pain, patients are better able to embrace their independence and thereby increase physical activity.

Improving these aspects allows clients to conserve spine health and engage in daily life events that might otherwise be too physically demanding.


To properly care for an aging spine, patients must focus on not only performing core-strengthening exercises but also engage in frequent physical activity that engages the core muscles. Additionally, it is useful to educate patients on how to properly move their bodies, use correct posture, and sit/stand with care as to not introduce more stress to the spine.

Conserving spine health is more than just increasing strength and improving posture; it also involves understanding where one’s body is in space, where key joints are located, and how to reduce pain and inflammation when it occurs. If needed, using the correct assistive devices, and making adaptations to the home can increase your chances of having a healthy spine for many years to come.

By Jack Miletic

Jack Miletic