Lower back pain is a chronic illness that presents both a high probability of recovery and a high probability of recurrence. Although, most of the population will experience lower back pain, senior citizens are at the highest risk. Over 70% of individuals at or over 60 years of age experience mild to severe lower back pain. At Senior Care Centers, we understand the toll that chronic lower back pain can take on our clients. This is why we provide the care to keep you or your loved one healthy and comfortable.
Lower back pain effects seniors differently than younger adults. For younger people, back pain is most often caused by distortion in malleable disks between vertebrae of the lower pain. This could be traced to incorrect use of back muscles, ill-fitting footwear, or an accumulation of damage as a result of degenerative diseases. As people age, these disks become less malleable and less prone to distortion; however, as these disks become stiffer, the vertebrae become subject to increased cartilage wear.
For seniors, lower back pain can be traced to a variety of causes. These causes may include a herniated disc, a spinal fracture or infection, compression fractures, certain surgeries, rheumatoid arthritis, or irregular spinal curvature. The two leading causes of lower back pain in senior citizens are spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis.
Although lower back pain may not always be preventable, there are various measures that can be taken to reduce its effects and minimize its progression. One of the simplest steps to take is to keep your body moving. Regular exercise is an easy way to keep your entire body healthy. For senior citizens, taking regular walks, with careful consideration for fall safety, is a simple way to prevent the development of back pain. Regular stretching and posture exercises can also prove beneficial for preventing back pain. Exercising the abdominal region, the hamstrings, the shoulders, and the buttocks is an important aspect of exercise for seniors. Most experts recommend maintaining a healthy diet and aerobic exercise for about an hour 3 to 5 times a week; however, it is important for seniors to check with healthcare professionals before beginning any new exercise program that may aggravate other health conditions.
There are a variety of other factors that can lead to lower back pain in senior citizens. Smoking not only increases your risk for osteoporosis, but also prevents spinal healing by slowing blood flow to the lower spine. Losing weight may also help to prevent back pain by alleviating the load on your back muscles. Working with your doctor to improve your diet can help with weight loss and help to strengthen your entire body. Stress can also aggravate lower back pain. Using yoga, meditation, counseling, or other methods to reduce stress may also reduce you chances of experiencing back pain.
At Senior Care Centers, we know the value of comfortable movement and locomotion in maintaining independence as you age. We have the trained medical staff and fall safety prevention measures that will keep you or your love one healthy, comfortable, and independent.