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Managing the Symptoms of Back Pain in the Senior Years

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

Since the elderly are susceptible to conditions like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and are sometimes injured due to falling, they are also at an increased risk of experiencing some degree of back pain. Even slight discomfort in the back can make daily living more difficult, which means it’s important for your senior loved one to find effective ways to combat this pain and regain his or her health. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care in Chandler, has some tips for managing back pain in the senior years.

Identify the Cause of the Pain

This may sound like an obvious first step, but pain involving the back should never be taken lightly. Seniors who have experienced back pain for more than a day or two should immediately schedule an appointment with their doctor or chiropractor. After it is determined the cause of the back pain is not a serious medical issue, your loved one can proceed with natural pain management remedies and techniques at home.

Apply Heat or Ice

The vast majority of minor back injuries can be treated with heat packs, ice packs, and plenty of rest. This combination has helped countless seniors work through both chronic and acute pain throughout the body. Ice packs help reduce inflammation, while heat packs can increase circulation to the affected area and speed up the healing process. These packs can be alternated every 10 or 15 minutes with short breaks in between.

Do Light Stretches

After a back injury, your loved one should not attempt to stretch or exercise until the doctor has told him or her it’s safe to do so. Once your loved one is cleared for exercise, he or she should ease into exercising as slowly as possible and focus on ballistic stretches. Unlike static stretches that involve holding a position, ballistic stretches utilize gentle movements such as arm rotations to warm up the muscles and increase the blood flow.

Use Topical Creams

Another safe way to treat this type of pain is with a homeopathic cream. Homeopathic medicines are based on the idea that the human body will eventually heal itself and man-made medicines are rarely needed. When on the search for a topical cream, your loved one should try to find products containing natural ingredients such as arnica, turmeric, menthol, camphor, mint oil, and capsaicin.

For more tips on helping your loved one manage pain, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide variety of ailments, and we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care Chandler seniors and their families can rely on. To learn more and to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our Care Managers, call 480.448.6215 today.