Back pain is any kind of discomfort that the person feels in his/her spine or back. This discomfort can range from minor to very severe. Back pain is one of most common problem that can be seen in any of age groups and in every part of the world but people above the age of 60 or elderly are more likely to suffer from back pain. The most common area of the spine where the person feels pain is the low back and neck pain. Prevalence of low back pain is estimated at 60% to 70% in India.
If we talk about the causes of low back pain it varies from person to person and also differs in intensity, area, duration etc. for each person. Some of the reasons for back pain in elderly are –
● Osteoarthritis is the most common reason
● Degenerative changes in the spine
● Any compression in the spinal cord or the nerves
● Inflammatory changes in the spine
● Any surgeries of the spine
● Lifestyle changes
The problems that the person complains can difficulty in walking to far places, stiffness during morning and evening, tingling or burning sensations in the back and legs and these can differ from person to person.
Back pain management needs to be taken care of at the earliest. Discuss with your Spine surgeon or Rehab Expert to get correct knowledge to the person regarding the pain and counselling the person and will also inform and teach you the following –
● Correct body posture by lying straight on the spine, keeping pillow under the legs while resting will help reduce back pain.
● Stretching and strengthening exercises.
● Swimming will help reduce pain because of buoyancy of water.
● Energy conservation techniques like using larger joints more, placing objects on same level etc. can reduce the unnecessary stressors for the activities that are performed daily.
● Lifting heavy weights by sitting and picking the weights is the correct way to protect the spine from injury.
● Equal weight distributions on both sides of the body will balance the posture causing less pain.
● Assistive devices can also be used whenever required.
● Take healthy diet and proper consumption of water.
● Do regular Exercise to protect and control further degeneration of Spine.
● Consult doctor about over-the-counter medications for controlling pain and inflammation.
Depending on your body and what you are being treated for, it will determine the types of home exercises you can do to get relief from back pain. Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, elders can also prefer physiotherapy at home wherein the physiotherapist will be visting their home and will guide them how to get relief from lower back pain and general back pain with some exercises. In absence of the physiotherapist, perform these exercises only if you are generally well and fit to do so, or if your physiotherapist has recommended them.
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