Helping with Back Pain for the Elderly and Seniors

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Back pain is one of the biggest and most frequent health problems found in the elderly people who are more than 60 years of age around the world. The people of this age group are more vulnerable to back pain because of aging. But other than that most of the causes are non-specific too like lethargicness, dementia, spinal degeneration, postural imbalance etc. Severe pain in the back does not necessarily mean a serious and alarming problem which can’t be controlled.

These are some of the tips to get relief from back pain :

  • Avoid bed rest – According to studies, lying down too much can slow the process of recovery and increase back pain. There goes a saying ‘motion is lotion’ which holds true for avoiding back pain. If one stays physically active on a consistent basis they can recover quickly from back pain
  • Keep moving – It’s important to keep moving when one is in pain as much as one can handle. One should use Rollator, Walking Frames for balance while walking. The movement helps to maintain blood circulation and lowers the sensation of pain
  • Maintain a good posture – One should focus on the way one holds the back when sitting, standing, walking, sleeping or performing one’s regular activities. One should use Crutches, wheelchairs for added support
  • Try to get better sleep – The back pain generally gets worse in the absence of quality sleep. A bad sleep position can lead to more pain. One can try placing a pillow in between the legs to neutralize the spinal position and thus relieve the back from getting strained
  • Go for physical therapy – It’s a very good decision to opt for physiotherapy. The therapists can enlighten on how to manage the spine by telling how to sit, stand and move and keep the spine in proper alignment. They can also teach one certain specialized exercise which will add strength to the core supportive muscles of the back. According to studies when the strength, endurance and flexibility of a body is improved back pain starts to recede slowly
  • Heat and Ice method – The application of ice to areas of strong pain on regular intervals can help get relief from pain and any inflammation caused by an injury. It should be tried for a couple of days for up to 20-25 mins to get best results. Then after application of the ice pack for some days it must be switched with heat. One can also take warm baths periodically to reduce pain.
  • Try Spinal Manipulation therapy – It has been proved by research that massages help to improve pain when done consistently for people suffering from chronic back pain. One another approach to try is Spinal Manipulation which when done by a licensed specialist can assist in removing structural problems of the spine and restore lost mobility
  • Try nerve stimulation therapy – An acupuncture is a kind of nerve stimulation therapy which stimulates the nerves to reduce the level of pain

These are pointers to avoid regarding posture

  1. One should not sit on the bed in a hunched position trying to focus on anything that is placed very low from the eye-level because it will lead to back pain for sure.
  2. If one is required to sit for a longer duration of time one should use cushioned chairs. The bare and hard seats of cushion-less chairs will not be supportive to the back and will prevent one from sitting straight for a long duration of time.
  3. One should sleep on a bed, which is ideally comfortable for them. The ideal sleep posture which is when sleeping on the side must be followed. Tucking a pillow in between the legs to assist in aligning the hips will also help to lessen back pain.

When to visit the doctor?

One should see the doctor if they have these issues-
  1. The pain is really excruciating
  2. .The pain stops one from doing other physical activities
Coping with back pain is the matter of changing routine habits and following a healthy lifestyle to make each day painless, free from worries, full of zeal and the get-going spirit to enjoy aging and life together as best as possible.