Find Your Place: Check Your Spine Health

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Here’s how to identify pain or limited movement in your neck, back, and spine.

Do you feel pain when you lean forward or back, or do you find tight spots when you rotate your torso from side to side? In this video, SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack, along with physical therapist Mark Greenwood, explains how this test can give you clues about your spine health.

You’ll need a sturdy chair. Try the test now, then see what your results mean below. If you have osteoporosis or a condition that affects your spine, skip the test, but check out the tips below.

If You Didn’t Notice Any Pain, Limited Movement, or Imbalance

That’s a sign your neck, back, and spine are in good health. Isn’t it nice to be able to turn your head to speak to someone, reach for something on a top shelf, or rotate your torso to swing a golf club without pain?

Keep pain away by strengthening your spine—and all the muscles that support it. Try these six yoga poses for a stronger spine. Or get a great total-body workout in a SilverSneakers class.

If You Noticed Any Pain, Limited Movement, or Imbalance

That’s a sign you may need to improve your strength and flexibility. But don’t be discouraged—even a little movement can do wonders to ease pain or stiffness. Try these four neck stretches or these nine yoga moves to ease back pain.

It may also be a sign to talk to your doctor. There’s usually a reason why you’re in pain and something that can be done about it. To make your conversation easier, let your doctor know where and when you experienced pain or limited movement:

  • Rolling your torso forward or leaning back
  • Rotating your torso to left or right
  • Rotating and tilting your torso to left or right
  • Tilting head forward or back
  • Turning head to left or right
  • Tilting head to left shoulder or right shoulder

If You Have Osteoporosis or a Condition That Affects Your Spine

Worried that you’ll hurt yourself if you exercise with osteoporosis? It turns out, staying as active as you can may be the best thing you do for your bones. Check out these four rules for exercising with osteoporosis.

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If you have a condition that affects your spine or are recovering from an injury, working with your doctor or physical therapist can help you start or resume activity safely. Ask these questions:

  • What types of exercise are appropriate for me?
  • How often and how much should I do them?
  • Are there precautions or steps I should take?

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SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take exercise classes designed for seniors and led by supportive instructors. If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.

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