Fighting the signs and symptoms of aging is a tough battle to fight. However, back pain is a frequent occurrence among the elderly community. In fact, older people are at a higher risk of developing chronic pain conditions compared to the younger adults.
The prevalence of chronic pain among age groups has been noted to be greatly consistent among elderly Americans. It has been reported that 30% of this population suffer from chronic pain while elderly women are more likely to report multiple pains than elderly men. Moreover, this population also has the highest rate of long-term pain medication consumption.
Despite the fact that pain is common among people in this age group, it does not entirely mean that feeling pain is a normal part of aging. There are many senior citizens who have lived long lives without suffering from chronic back pain problems.
Assuming that chronic pain is part of aging can pose barriers to effective treatment and pain management.
Location Of The Pain
The most common back pain among elderlies is found at the lower back. This typically comes with stabbing or shooting pains but typically resolve on its own after a couple of days. But when lower back pain strikes, it can limit your range of movements, affect your mobility, and balance. It can also prevent your from standing up straight.
In some cases, the pain can radiate to other body parts like the hips, thighs or one legs. Spinal problems are also common in the upper back, accompanied by neck, shoulder and arm pain. If you have been suffering from constant back pain for weeks, it is best to see your doctor about it.
Causes of Back Pain
There are numerous causes of back pain. Medical conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, infection and other diseases can contribute to the problem. Other factors like weakened and aged muscles, slipped discs and loss of spinal cushion can also cause some form of back pain.
Another common reason for back pain is injuries from accidents, carrying heavy objects and poor posture. These can strain your spine and can sometimes bulge or rupture your spinal discs outward. When this happens, the friction in between your vertebrae will cause pain.
Other lifestyle factors that could have caused and further aggravated the problem are obesity, passive lifestyle, smoking, poor eating habits, drug use and chronic stress.
Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Unless your back pain is caused by a serious condition, you can expect that you will recover rapidly. The following are some treatments you can use to help relieve your lower back pain.
Take Pain Medication
You can try taking over the counter medications. You can use ibuprofen, aspirin,naproxen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You can also take muscle relaxants that are available by prescription.
These are helpful especially when taken before bedtime. Try to avoid using muscle relaxants if you have a big day at work as they can cause you to feel drowsy.
Become Physically Active
Many older adults stop becoming physically active because of the fear that they might hurt their back even more. But staying active is perhaps one of the best solutions for their back pain.
Studies show that people suffering from chronic back pain experience a speedy recovery when they add low to moderate exercises to their daily lifestyle. Movement alleviates muscles spasms and prevent the loss of muscle strength, which is a problem quite common with old age.
Include An Exercise Plan
Becoming physically active may not be enough to treat back pain at the beginning. To help strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility more, you can add an exercise routine.
Enrolling in an exercise program can reduce the duration of the pain and prevent the episodes from coming back. It is also recommended that you choose strength training with some stretching. These exercise include swimming, walking, cycling and other low-impact aerobics.
See A Physical Therapist
If you have been suffering from back pain for more than a month, your healthcare provider will recommend that you work with a physical therapist. They will develop a planned formal exercise program that will involve strengthening and stretching exercises.
Yoga and massage therapy to treat back pain have been evaluated by many researchers. The benefit of these activities were found to be effective with patients suffering from chronic back pain.
Although there are plenty of sources found online, your healthcare provider is still the best person to ask what treatments you should should get started with. As each person has a different case, you might need alterations on certain treatments that only a professional can do for you.