Michael Caine receives award at Karlovy Vary film festival
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“I have a spine problem which affects my leg, so I can’t walk very well,” Michael Caine said earlier this year. His wife, Shakira, added: “He had a back operation quite recently. He had spinal stenosis.”
What is spinal stenosis?
Experts at Spine Health explained: “Spinal stenosis occurs when one or more bony openings (foramina) within the spine begin to narrow and reduce space for the nerves.”
The narrowing within the spine can lead to: pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness.
Expanding on the symptoms of spinal stenosis, the pain might feel “dull”, and it could be confined to the neck or lower back.
Sometimes the pain can be “electric-like” that radiates down into the arms and legs.
“Sometimes the pain is more of a pins-and-needles tingling sensation,” the experts added.
In terms of weakness, a lack of coordination with the arms and legs might occur.
This could explain why Caine is unable to walk like he could when he was a young man.
“Severe compression of the spinal cord could result in bowel and/or bladder dysfunction,” the experts warned.
Spinal stenosis can be viewed as “part of the ageing process”, which is why the condition typically occurs in people aged 50 and older.
For some people, distressing symptoms may be alleviated by medication and physical therapy.
For others, however, surgery might be needed when diagnostic measures show that the symptoms are likely to be alleviated by decompressing a spinal nerve.
As for Caine’s surgery, Shakira told the Daily Mail: “The operation was fantastic. He’ll be up and dancing again soon.”
Aside from mobility issues, Caine is in great health for somebody who is 89 year old.
“I was a bit of a p*** artist when I was younger, I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking too, several packs a day,” he admitted.
“Without [Shakira] I would have been dead long ago. I would have probably drunk myself to death.”
Turning his life around, Caine revealed that he doesn’t eat “sugar and salt, and stuff like that”.
“I walk about two miles a day and all the bread is gluten-free,” he elaborated.
A healthy diet and exercise are two mainstays of leading a healthy and long life.
While Caine engaged with bad habits when he was young, he has been committed to cultivating healthier habits for much longer.
Anybody who wants to take charge of their health can do so; this includes not smoking by utilising the NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Michael Caine stars in The Ipcress File, which is airing on BBC Two on Sunday, October 2 at 2.05pm.
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