Low Back Pain: Management tips for the elders

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is experienced by every human, almost everyone has it at some point. The lower back, which starts below the ribcage, is known as the lumbar region. Pain at this location can be penetrating and is one of the top causes of missed work. Usually, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments available at home like dr ho decompression and other remedies recommended by experts.

As you get older your spine ages as well, you may start feeling some aches and pains. Here’s why back pain can develop as you age, and what you can do about it. First you need to understand basic information about your back. The spine is a column of 24 bones stretching from your skull to your tailbone, encasing the spinal cord. Its bones, or vertebrae, are linked by tiny joints called facets. In between, discs filled with a jelly-like substance serve as a cushion. Rope-like ligaments stabilize the spine.

Here are the most common reasons for developing back pain when you reach the age of 50:

Degenerative changes in discs and joints — Lack of moisture and resilience can make discs less effective as shock absorbers. As we age production of moisture around discs is deficient resulting to brittle and sensitive bones and nerves. We’re like an old car with dirty and greasy oil. There will be limits about physical activities that we can for it can damage our bones especially the spines.

Spinal stenosis — The canal through which your spinal cord passes can narrow because of disc degeneration, thickened ligaments or arthritic facet joints (usually in the lower back).

Spondylolisthesis — One spinal vertebra can slip forward onto the vertebra below. Due to sensitive and deteriorated ligaments elders should be careful of their daily activities.

Things you can do to manage back pain

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Any of these conditions can cause inflammation or pressure on nerves or pain. The following are proven effective to help you ease and treat your back pain.

Go for physically activity. Having a regular exercise despite the age can really help a lot. Seek for the help of an instructor to design a program that is perfect for you. Do not push yourself over your limit. Everything in moderation is good for you. The more active you are, the better you’ll feel. Stay active, and you’ll bounce back sooner from the horrors of back pain.

Physical therapy. Physicians can prescribe a back-healthy exercise program to help you gain strength, and improve balance and flexibility.

Take medications. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin can ease inflammatory pain. Follow the dosage and periods when to take the medicines even if the pain disappears. Listen carefully to your physician to avoid further problems.

Cold Compress. Have an ice pack first when back pain strikes. Applying ice ,20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, helps quiet painful inflammation or muscle spasms.

Hot Compress. If the pain goes away after applying a cold compress. Wait for  two or three days, then consider using a heating pad, taking warm baths or lying briefly under a heat lamp. This can relax your back muscles and stimulate blood flow. Just remember to avoid overheating the area as it can also get you burned.

Relax. Aging constitutes retirement. We should be more caring about our body. We tend to slow our recovery from injuries as we age. Try to bed rest for 24hrs and do minimal activities for a week. See if this can improve your condition.

Complementary therapies

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Other techniques which are also proven effective can also be practiced.

Acupuncture. Acupuncturists insert fine needles into the skin at specific body points and manipulate them. This can relieve chronic pain by stimulating the body’s healing process. This technique targets the nerves. Seek for the service of legit experts before undergoing the procedure.

Osteopathic manipulation. Osteopathic doctors (DOs) or chiropractors use their hands to mobilize, adjust, massage and stimulate the spine and its surrounding tissues.

Therapeutic systems. You can try therapy systems available at online stores and assess which ones will help you the most. You can also try acupuncture and basic yoga both which offer nerve and muscle relaxation.

Innovative options recommended by back pain specialists:

Faster rehabilitation = More invasive treatment

Nerve blocks and injections.  These are in steroidal form can be done with or without anesthetics. Can be injected to reduce back pain and inflammation at the source, whether it is a spinal nerve root or a facet joint.

Radiofrequency ablation. This is also a sensitive procedure. A carefully guided needle capable of transferring radiowaves can be inserted to block painful nerve signals using high-frequency current. This may relieve chronic back pain for nine months or longer depending on patient.

Spinal cord stimulators. Stimulating a portion of the spinal cord can change the perception of pain in some people, tricking your brain and pain at the same time. A small electrode array, similar to multiple pacemakers, can be implanted to send mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord. These divert pain signals so that they don’t reach the brain and you won’t feel the pain.

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