4 Easy Back Pain Remedies for Seniors
If you’re a senior citizen with back pain, you’re far from alone. In fact, research indicates that the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain—including back pain—could be as high as 85 percent of the older adult population. Most people don’t even experience back pain for the first time until they’re well into adulthood, but, by the time they reach 50, mild to moderate back pain is simply par for the course.
Why is this? It all has to do with the natural aging process. One of the primary culprits is osteoarthritis of the spine, a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage in the spinal joints erodes over time. Other back pain causes for older adults include decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) and the narrowing of the spinal cord (spinal stenosis), which can put pressure on the nerves in the back and cause pain.
The first step toward developing a solid back pain treatment plan is to try to determine the root cause of your pain. From there, you may be able to find long-term solutions that can help you live a happy, active life in old age. In the meantime, you can consider trying these back pain remedies for some much-needed relief.
1. Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a cutting-edge, clinically proven technology that can provide temporary relief of minor muscle and joint aches, pain, and stiffness in the back. Wearing a laser therapy device, such as a Curavi belt, aids in the relaxation of muscles and temporarily increases local blood circulation to help ease back pain.
How does laser treatment help back pain? It uses low-level lasers to penetrate the tissue and modulate the inflammatory response. The best part is, it’s an effective at-home treatment with no known adverse side effects and zero of the standard risks associated with pharmaceuticals or surgery.
2. Stretching and Exercise
Have you ever heard the saying “motion is lotion, rest is rust”? Well, it’s sure true when it comes to pain in the back! Exercise actually lubricates the joints. When you’re active, your body boosts circulation of synovial fluid, the fluid which helps oil up your joints and allows for smoother movements. At the same time, blood flow increases and nutrients are more effectively distributed, helping to nourish and repair the injuries and inflammation causing your back pain.
Another thing that happens when we age is that our muscles weaken and we become more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains in the low back. This often happens because the core muscles are weak and not able to properly support the spine as well as the tissues and muscles surrounding it. Strength training and stretching can help build these muscles back up so that the spine is properly supported.
3. Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat therapy and cold therapy are two great ways to deal with lingering pain throughout the body, especially in the back, neck, and shoulders. Applying an ice pack for about 20 minutes at a time can help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms. Heat therapy, such as applying a hot pack or soaking in the hot tub, can help relax the muscles and boost blood flow. If you’ve suffered an injury, be sure to wait a few days for the initial pain to lessen before using heat therapy.
4. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy and chiropractic care may be two good options for complementary therapies in your back pain relief plan. Massage can help older adults with stiff, sore back muscles feel relief from pain and enjoy improved range of motion and flexibility. These therapies are often employed in osteoarthritis treatments as well, as they can help the muscles surrounding the spine relax. A chiropractic adjustment may also result in pain relief by reducing some of the pressure on the vertebrae in the back, but be sure to consult your physician before getting an adjustment.
A Natural Part of Aging
As we age out of certain things, we age into others. Unfortunately, most people age into a bit of pain as they get older. The good news is that there are a few tried and true back pain relief options available for senior citizens seeking real relief. Because age-related back pain shouldn’t prevent you from living a happy, healthy, and full life in your golden years. The next time you feel the ache start to worsen, try one of these great remedies.