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Managing Back Pain As You Age

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Back pain becomes a major issue as you grow old. As a person ages, he can suffer from various other symptoms that can directly or indirectly lead to this problem.

Fortunately, thereare a few ways to avoid back pain.

Back pain does not have to be something you suffer from every now and then because of your age. There are many treatment options available. Also, by developing some good habits you can keep your spine and back muscles healthy and strong.

A majority of us will suffer from a backache at some points in our lives. But by understanding this issue and taking steps, we can lessen the sufferings to a considerable extent.

Classification of Back Pain

Back pain is more commonly seen in the lower back. The pain can be quite severe. It can shoot down to the legs and hips. The intensity of the pain can stop you from functioning normally in your daily activities. This kind of pain disappears after a few days however in most cases.

Chronic back pain is when you suffer from backache for more than three months.

Pain can also occur in the upper back. This occurs if upper back muscles or upper spine are affected. This kind of pain can also spread to surrounding body parts like arms, shoulders or neck. Upper back pain is not that common.

Causes Behind Pain in the Back

As you age, there are certain changes that take place in your body. There is a loss of muscle elasticity. Your bones and spine also can’t provide the same support as they used to. The spinal disks narrow and degenerate as part of the natural aging process.

Osteoarthritis, a variant of arthritis, is also another common culprit behind back pain in aged individuals.

Injuries can also significantly contribute to this problem. Back pain often occurs after certain injuries like falling from the stairs or lifting something too heavy the wrong way. In worst cases, a bad injury can also cause an injury in the spine.

Then there are certain risk factors like smoking, excessive bodyweight, wrong posture and so on. All these factors can indirectly lead to pain in your back.

Treatment Options

In case of severe back pain, it’s best to give your body some rest for a day or two. However, you should not rest for more than two hours at a stretch. This can weaken your muscles. Also, try to do some basic movements after every rest period.

You can alternately apply heat packs with ice to your back. This will relax your muscles and increase blood flow. Applying ice and heat this way is a very safe way to effectively relieve pain.

Over the counter, drugs can also be another treatment option to decrease inflammation in the affected area. There are topical options available. Certain drugs can have side effects like gastrointestinal inflammation. So, we recommend you to consult a doctor before taking one.

Getting a bath in warm water is another way to relax the muscles in the back. You can increase the effectiveness of the water by adding Epsom salt. This mineral helps to keep bones strong.

You can consider alternative medicine like acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic treatment to relieve the back pain. But always consult a certified practitioner.

For extreme cases of chronic back pain, it is best to consult a doctor. He might suggest surgery or more potent drugs for your condition.

Develop Healthy Habits

Developing a few healthy habits will assist you to keep back pain at bay. For the senior citizens, reducing the risk factors is a great way to prevent any future onset of the problem.

Exercises are a great way to prevent back pain. Working the abdominal muscles ensures that our spine has proper support. Exercises keep the bones and joints healthy. This habit also promotes better blood flow in the whole body.

It is very important to keep the body weight at normal levels. According to Dr. Alexis Tingan, MD of Penn Medicine, each pound of an individual’s body creates four times pressure while he is walking. So, it is very clear that maintaining a proper body weight is important in every age of our life cycle.

A proper body posture should be maintained. Many senior citizens tend to slouch forward while standing up. Maintaining a proper posture solves many pain related issues.

Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Cigarettes contain various toxins which harm our organs, bones and other body parts directly. Quitting cigarettes will ensure good health of your spine.

Use mattresses and pillows that will give you comfort and support. Do not use very old bed materials.

Don’t forget to give your spine some rest every now and then.Relaxing on a recliner will let you do just that.

These healthy habits may not directly decrease your pain. But they will definitely reduce the risk factors associated with it. In the long run, reducing the risk factors is a far safer option.

It is certainly a lot safer than going undergoing surgery. By adopting these habits, you can naturally prevent any back pain in the future.

Conclusion

Back pain can reduce your mobility as you age. Sometimes, it is necessary to consult a doctor to get relief. Try to adopt a healthy lifestyle and reduce inactivity as much as possible. The more active your spine is, the healthier it will remain in the long term.

Get a clear understanding of this pain before you try aggressive procedures like surgery. In most cases, your back pain will disappear with a few home remedies.

Author Bio:

This article has been contributed by Shawn on behalf of FeedFond. He is a fitness nut and loves to promotea healthylifestyle. Check out more of his work at FeedFond.com

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