Back and Neck Injury/Back brace?
Thirty years ago I had the L5/S1 disk removed and remember the xray or MRI showing another somewhat bulging disk. The operation went great and I had no major consequences. However, I have to be careful and do from time to time experience pain for a few days from over-exerting. I go to the gym regularly and walk maybe 25 miles a week with my wife. I am 65. My question is should I start protecting myself by wearing a light back support belt.
I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well. Your active lifestyle is wonderful and I wish you and your wife all the best!
Most likely, the pain from over-exerting is muscular. I do not think a light back brace would prevent this. Most light braces do not provide proper support to the spine. If you are in a cold climate, a light brace may help provide some warmth to the muscles, however, Florida is nice. A firmer brace would tend to alleviate some of the muscular strain, however, long term use or using for long periods would tend to weaken the muscles and you do not want that. I would suggest a firm brace if you do any lifting over 25 pounds to help protect the spine; something well designed like this back brace
, which is what I use - lasts for years!
I would suggest stretching after workouts or when you over-exert. The hamstrings would be important, along with the back muscles. There are basically 2 forms of stretching the back. For those with a disc problem, extension stretching may prove beneficial and you can see a simple stretch in extension at this back pain exercises
link. The other type of stretches would be generalized and mostly in flexion, which would be mainly for the muscles and you can see a group of stretches that you can try at the back exercises
link. Take both of these slowly. They should not cause pain. By experimenting, you can find one or two that feel good for you and will not take a long time to do - just some time experimenting to find the right ones.