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4 Tips for Helping with Senior Back Pain

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on July 27, 2015

For many seniors, back pain can become a chronic source of discomfort. If you’re a family caregiver whose elderly relative experiences back pain, there are some steps you can take to help him or her relieve some of that soreness. Read on for four strategies that may help reduce senior back pain, presented by Home Care Assistance in Chandler.

1. Rest

Making sure that your elderly relative gets enough rest is key in helping him or her find relief from back pain. As seniors may strain back muscles without realizing it, getting sufficient rest can help allow injured back tissue and nerves to heal. However, more than a few days rest can actually harm the body, as the muscles will begin to deteriorate from lack of use. Rest should always the first thing your loved one tries when looking to relieve back pain, but if he or she continues to experience pain after a couple days it may be time to visit a physician.

2. Lower Back Exercises

As lower back exercises strengthen the back, they can help prevent injury and poor posture, which can lead to back aches. Have your loved one’s hourly or 24-hour caregiver in Chandler assist your loved one with lower back exercises on a daily basis for the best results. To start, have your loved one do the following three exercises:

Partial crunches. Have your loved one lie flat on his or her back and slowly raise shoulders off the ground for sets of 10.

Floor-press back extensions. Ask your relative to get on his or her stomach, place his or her hands under the shoulders, and press up to extend arms slightly. Repeat 10 times.

Pelvic tilts. Your loved one should lie flat on his or her back with knees bent and tighten his or her lower stomach muscles for 10 seconds to tilt the hips upward and then relax. Have your loved one repeat this 10 times.

3. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help relieve back pain by improving blood circulation, increasing endorphins, and relaxing muscles. Arranging for your elderly loved one to regularly receive a massage that concentrates on the lower back will help him or her feel better. Especially when done regularly, massages can also help prevent future muscle tension and lower back problems.

4. Heat and Ice Packs

Alternating between applying ice and heat to the lower back can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. As immediately applying ice and heat after each other can actually lead to muscle spasms, remember to wait 20 minutes in between switching temperature packs. While alternating between cold and hot generally has the best results, if your loved one doesn’t like one or the other, you may also use just one temperature.

For seniors who experience lower back pain on a daily basis, these can make routine activities easier and less uncomfortable. Likewise, a professional caregiver who can help your loved one with daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and driving, may allow your loved one to rest until his or her back pain fades. To learn more about how our in-home senior care services, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care in Chandler, promote senior health and wellness, give a knowledgeable Care Manager a call at 480.448.6215 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.