Simple Ways to Alleviate Back Pain as You Get Older
Your body goes through changes as you get older. Unfortunately, sometimes those changes can result in discomfort. That’s why it’s not uncommon to develop back pain later in life.
The spine consists of vertebrae stacked atop each other. Discs between the vertebrae essentially work as shock absorbers. However, these discs deteriorate over time. This reduces shock absorption and causes the vertebrae to rub against each other more often during movement.
That doesn’t mean you simply have to accept that chronic back pain is going to be a natural side effect of aging. There are plenty of steps you can take to reduce and potentially avoid discomfort, like trying home remedies or finding information about physical therapy and how it can help. The following are some of the more significant methods worth keeping in mind.
Rely on Cold or Heat Therapy
Back pain is often linked to inflammation. Fortunately, reducing inflammation can be as easy as applying a cold compress to the affected area.
That said, there are also instances in which discomfort is the result of muscle tension. Applying a heating pad may be more effective in these cases. Heat relieves tension, which in turn reduces pain.
Maintaining an active lifestyle into old age offers many benefits. Physical fitness guards against heart disease, promotes better mental health, and can protect the spine from the kind of deterioration that might otherwise result in chronic pain.
Just make sure you stick to a fitness plan that’s safe for someone of your age and condition. A physical therapist can help in this capacity. Speaking of which…
Try Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is effective at minimizing age-related back pain because it can help strengthen core muscles. These muscles offer the back much-needed support. Although people often assume they only need physical therapy if they are recovering from an injury or surgery, it can actually be very useful for anyone trying to reduce discomfort typically associated with aging.
Use Over-the-Counter Medication
Using over-the-counter medication (as long as you’re sticking to the proper dosing recommendations) is often a safe, simple, and effective way to address back pain.
However, you may want to discuss a pulsed dosing regimen with your doctor. This involves taking the medicine multiple times during the day at key intervals. It can be more effective at preemptively reducing age-related back discomfort than merely taking medication when pain strikes.
As you get older, your body simply needs more rest to recover from stress. While it’s still important to stay active, it’s also necessary to balance activity with periods of relaxation. Just don’t rest too much. Staying inactive for over 48 hours at a time can actually worsen your pain.
Back pain often accompanies aging. That doesn’t mean it has to impact your life. By remembering these basic tips, you can stay comfortable and pain-free well into old age.
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