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Back Pain in Older People

Back pain is a foremost cause of disability in seniors, and one of the most common reasons for doctor visits. Almost all of us experience back pain at least once. Although I am noticing from working in a gym, it is not just the elderly who suffer from back pain, this is why it is so important to start early on keeping your back supple.

Back Pain is multifaceted and complicated as it has diverse properties and degrees. It can be hot and searing, sharp and stabbing, or dull and achy.

It can also manifest itself from many different pains like inflammatory pain, muscle pain, and nerve pain. You can even have compressed disks or low synovial fluid. Depending on what’s causing the back pain, it’s each type will be different.

However, you can take measures to relieve or prevent most of the back pain problems. Simple and easy home-based treatments and stretching exercises can help heal your back pain within weeks.

Back pain symptoms

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Shooting or acute pain

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Muscle ache

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Pain extending down your legs

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Pain improving with recline

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Pain worsening with standing, lifting, bending or walking

Causes of back pain:

Back pain which occurs abruptly and lasts for some weeks (not more than 6 weeks) can be due to heavy lifting or a fall. Chronic back pain lasts more than 3 months.

Following are some common conditions linked to back pain:

Ruptured or Bulging disks

The disks play the role of cushions between the vertebrae (bones) in your spine. The soft substance within a disk can rupture or bulge and compress the nerve.

Ligament or muscle strain

An abrupt awkward movement or repeated heavy lifting can put a strain on your spinal ligaments and back muscles. Continuous strain on your back can lead to painful muscle contractions.

At the gym the other day a friend of mine was doing a dead lift and sneezed, after that she couldn’t move and ended up in bed for a week.

Osteoporosis

If your bones turn brittle and porous, the vertebrae of your spine can develop compression fractures.

Skeletal abnormalities

It is a condition where your spine curves to one side which can result in back pain.

Arthritis

In certain cases, arthritis in the spine can result in a condition called spinal stenosis where the space around your spinal cord narrows.

Sciatic back pain in Seniors

Natural cures for back painSciatic back pain is usually expressed as a burning sensation which extends from your lower back down to the back of your thighs or legs. It can start in your lower back and spans through your legs, and even have an effect on any parts between your legs and back.

Older people are hugely affected by the sciatic back pain. Due to aging, their muscles and nerves start to degenerate gradually. In due course, this degeneration can lead to muscle weakness and eventually, sciatic back pain. The risk of developing sciatic back pain is even greater for overweight seniors.

Read more about sciatic pack pain

Stretching exercises for back pain in Seniors

stretching exercises for back painStretching your back can really help to keep your spine supple and your postural muscles strong, especially as you age. Aging can cause stiff joints, pains, aches, and tightening of the muscles which can take a toll on your body, but stretching can really help you feel better, and you will find you have more spring in your step.

I am 65 and workout 5 days a week, my son owns the gym so of course he looks after me. He is always saying to me “mum stretch before your workout and after, take your time and really stretch your muscles until you can feel the stretch in them, and do it for about 20 minutes”. I usually haven’t got the time to do it at the gym, but when I get home I always have a good relaxing “stretch” until I can really feel it, it is amazing what a difference it makes, especially as you start to get older.

Various studies suggest that stretching for the back can help promote balance, improve flexibility, and even lessen stress or pain. These exercises focus on mobility and posture which can help limit your risk of injury or falling. By stretching I am also noticing I have more balance, and so much more flexible.

Here are just some Stretching exercises which include:

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Calf Stretch

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Hip Flexor

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Seated Hamstring

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Shoulder Stretch

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Chest Stretch

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Superman stretch

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Knee and chest hugs

Pilates exercises for back pain

 how to do pilates for back painPilates exercises help improve strength, suppleness, and flexibility of the hip muscles. These exercises also help create awareness of movement habits which stress the spine, so that you can change such habits to maintain neutral alignment. Proper use of focus and awareness of excessive tension will help you use your body efficiently.

It can actually help reduce and prevent back pain especially lower back pain. These exercises provide gentle stretches for tight back muscles, offer good alignment, and help fortify the core support for your back.

Read more about Pilates exercises for back pain

Side effects of back pain

You should visit your doctor if your back pain continues for more than two weeks. Sometimes the back pain can cause certain side effects or symptoms of a grave medical ailment.

Following are some symptoms of serious health problems due to back pain:

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Weakness, tingling, or numbness in both or one leg.

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Loss of bladder or bowel control

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High or mild fever

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Constant and intense pain which gets worse during the night

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Pain with a burning sensation in the abdomen

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Unexplained weight loss

Herbal remedies for back pain

herbal remedies for back painHerbs, when used properly, can help resolve the conditions which are causing back pain. Although these may not offer instant relief, they provide better long-term recovery.

While choosing herbal remedies for back pain, you need a bit more knowledge to pick the correct herb as compared to pain-killers. Following are some of the herbal remedies for back pain:

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Willow bark (daily 120 - 240 mg)

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Devil’s claw (daily 50 - 100 mg)

Yoga exercises for back pain

Various studies have revealed the power of the ancient practice called yoga, which emphasizes flexibility, strength, and stretching, to treat back pain. Although yoga isn’t recommended for severe back pain, it is really great for chronic aches or occasional soreness.

Certain yoga postures can greatly benefit you as these can help stretch and strengthen your back muscles, lengthen your spine, and align your back properly.

Yoga postures typically focus on control and balance which encourage your body to defend against the back pain and its causes such as weak pelvic and abdominal muscles, and less flexibility in hips flexor muscles.

Yoga exercises help you strengthen these muscles, which, in turn, will improve your posture by reducing the load on your back muscles and relieve back pain. Yoga also involves stretching that helps improve flexibility by increasing the flow of blood to the tight muscles.

Read more about yoga exercises for back pain

Acupressure for back pain

acupressure for back painAcupressure can help heal back pain with no side effects. The human body has certain significant pressure points for back pain treatment and these pressure points can only be effective if applied regularly.

Your acupressure therapist will apply firm pressure on the precise pressure points on a regular basis to help relieve back pain. Acupressure therapy can also prevent the back pain from rising again.

Following are some of the acupressure points to treat back pain:

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Lower Back Points

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Stomach Point

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Hipbone Points

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Knee Back Points

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Hand Point

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Foot Points

Natural cures for back pain

There are many ways to relieve chronic back pain and you don’t always depend on a prescription. Conventional medical treatments typically focus on dealing with the anatomical problems in your back. However, for many seniors, a multifaceted approach may work better to keep the back pain at bay.

Sometimes natural cures can even supplement the traditional medical treatments and medications. There is no certain or single natural cure for back pain. You may need to carry out some trial and error or some type of combination of natural cures to ascertain what works best for you.

Following are some natural cures for back pain:

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Having a long, hot bath, put some magnesium salts in the bath, they will relieve those tired muscle, I do this once a week.

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Changing your sleep position.

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Getting regular massages, every fortnight I treat myself to a wonderful all over body massage, spoil yourself.

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Taking a plunge in the water. The buoyancy of the water will provide you the benefits with little pain.

Make sure to consult your doctor prior to using any herbal medicines or opting for any natural cures. These may cause some side effects as these can interact with your ongoing medications.

Read more about natural cures for back pain

Related Articles

Natural Cures for Back Pain

Try these natural cures for back pain if you feel severe pain or are getting extensive medical treatments without any side effects.

Yoga exercises for back pain

Certain yoga postures can greatly benefit you as these can help stretch and strengthen your back muscles, lengthen your spine, and align your back properly.

Stretching Exercise for Back Pain

Stretching exercise for back pain can really help to keep your spine supple and your postural muscles strong, especially as you age. Aging can cause stiff joints, pains, aches, and tightening of the muscles which can take a toll on your body, but stretching exercise can help you feel better.

Side Effects of Back Pain

If your back pain continues for more than 3 weeks, then it could be a chronic back pain. It may originate from a disease or an injury or may happen due to stress on different structures of your body.

Sciatic Back Pain

Sciatic back pain is one of the most common back problems faced by many seniors. This pain occurs mainly due to the inflammation of the sciatic nerve in your back.

Pilates Exercises for Back Pain

These exercises provide gentle stretches for tight back muscles, to relax the muscles which are tense, offer good alignment, and help fortify the core support for your back.

Herbal Remedies for Back Pain

Herbal remedies for back pain when used properly, can help resolve the conditions which are causing your back pain. Although these may not offer instant relief, they provide better long-term recovery.

Acupressure for back pain

Acupressure for back pain, can help heal your pain with no side effects. This therapy uses your body’s energy lines to release blocks, which, in turn, help relieve all forms of pain and stress.

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