As you get older, it's normal to experience a decline in your posture and to be "less upright." Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, and joints, and you'll experience bodily changes as part of the normal aging process. Changes can start manifesting from the age of 30 with observed decline between ages 40 and 50. Postural decline worsens after the age of 60.
Changes that affect your spine health
Loss of Bone Density
With the onset of menopause, women will experience a loss of bone density as their bodies produce less estrogen, important for bone health. The loss of density can lead to fractures and visibly impact your spine.
Spinal Curvature and Hardening of Discs
Your spine is made up of 24 small bones (vertebrae) and between them are intervertebral discs, which is a soft, gelatin-like cartilage. Think of these discs as shock absorbers - they cushion and absorb the stress and movement of your body. As you get older, these discs become less flexible as they start to harden. This hardening of the discs can compress your spine and contribute to the forward tilt (kyphosis). Kyphosis is a more common issue for older women. Kyphosis is sometimes referred to as "dowager's hump" because of the exaggerated curvature of the spine.
Loss of Muscle Mass
With age, women start to see a natural loss of muscle mass, and weaker muscle strength is less effective in supporting the spine.
Changes in weight can place added stress to the body. Weight gain combined with loss of muscle mass lead to greater "wear and tear" on the body.
According to the CDC, one in four adults will develop joint pain, which is grouped with diagnosed conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
What You Can Do to Strengthen Your Back
As you would with a great skincare regimen, you can proactively support your back health in the following ways.
Practice good posture
Be purposeful in your daily habits to promote good posture. Avoid slouching forward, regularly stretch, and take breaks when you're sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Kinflyte's line of posture correcting sports bras and tops are the best back support bras designed to reduce pressure on shoulders and back, and they are designed to provide postural cues by opening the chest and cueing shoulders back.
Regular exercise that involves stretching such as yoga and pilates are a great way to support your back health. Also, weight bearing exercises such as walking and jogging can help prevent and slow down bone loss.
Eat calcium-rich foods
Eating calcium-rich foods is important to supporting your bone health. Also incorporate regular sources of Vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium.
Posture Change in Age I MUSC Health
Kyphosis I Mayo Clinc
Changes in the body posture of women occurring with age I BMC Geriatrics
Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. Adults Affected by Joint Pain I WebMD