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Chronic Back Pain in Seniors: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Chronic Back Pain in Seniors: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Back Pain in seniors can be caused by a variety of disorders. But osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis are the most prevalent causes of chronic back pain. Back discomfort caused by degeneration of the joints in the spine is more common in those over the age of 60. The good news is that there are a number of simple treatments available to ease this pain.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best, while in some cases, a little change can make all the difference. Others may find that making a few changes to their habits or lifestyle will help them feel better.

Before surgery and prescription medications come into play a number of options are available to seniors for curing back pain.

Causes of Osteoarthritis:

The term “arthritis” refers to the swelling of a joint. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis, and it happens when the cartilage at the joints wears down, leaving the bones without any protection against each other. It is the most common cause of back pain.

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When this happens, or if the cartilage on one side is chipped or damaged, the injured cartilage or neighboring bone rubs against the bone, injuring it further. Back discomfort is caused by this, as well as the resulting joint inflammation and muscle spasm.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis:

This is a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal cord and nerves, putting pressure on the nerves and causing tingling, numbness, and discomfort. Spinal stenosis is related to osteoarthritis and spine degeneration, and it generally shows up after the 50’s and goes worse over time.

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When the lower back suffers from lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the low back get compressed, resulting in sciatica symptoms such as tingling, weakness, or numbness radiating from the low back and into the legs and buttocks. This is sometimes worsened by activity, leading persons to avoid movement and exercise. Unfortunately this means a low key and exercise free lifestyle which in turn leads to additional health problems.

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Symptoms of Chronic Back Pain in Seniors:

Osteoarthritis can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain that is worst in the mornings and evenings.
  • Pain resulting in sleep interruption.
  • Pain after performing some activity.
  • Tender when pressed against.
  • Back stiffness and loss of flexibility (being unable to twist or bend comfortably at the waist).
  • Pain in leg and lower back even after a short walk.
  • Lower back pain that goes away quickly when you sit down.
  • Weakness, numbness, and tingling that moves from the low back into the buttocks and legs (sciatica).
  • Symptoms ranging from mild to severe may appear gradually and worsen over time in both cases.

Simple Treatments for Chronic Back Pain in Seniors

1 – High-Quality Mattresses:

Not all mattresses are created equally. Because old, worn-out mattresses do little to support the back or neck, and a high-quality mattress can provide significant comfort for those suffering from back pain.

2 – Healthy Diet:

Flaxseed oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and other healthy fats, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ginger, garlic, oats, and lean protein sources, all aid to reduce inflammation. Dairy, pastries, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, refined grains, and any highly processed foods, on the other hand, should be avoided because they increase muscle and joint inflammation.

3 – Yoga:

Many older adults have discovered that yoga, particularly restorative yoga, a deeply calming approach to the traditional practice, has benefited them. You might also try gentle hatha yoga or chair yoga class, depending on your range of motion and fitness level.

Studies have shown that people with back pain have reported favorable outcomes such as reduced pain, increased range of motion, and a greater sense of well-being. More tips for practicing yoga with arthritis are provided by John Hopkins.

4 – Acupuncture:

This is a mild, alternative medicine approach to treating the aches and pains that come with aging. Acupuncture, rather than treating symptoms, helps to cure the root of pain naturally and without the need for medicines.

5 – Massage Therapy

When pills are used too regularly, they can create a variety of negative effects as well as long-term health issues. Massage therapy promotes circulation and lowers inflammation and swelling; studies have shown it to be effective in reducing chronic back pain, which may lower the patient’s need for pain medication.

The use of anti-inflammatory medicines to treat chronic back pain in the elderly is not always necessary. Your caregiver may be able to assist you in trying all-natural alternatives.

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