by Nick Passarelli
Lower back pain is the number one type of Chronic Pain in The United States, and aging is the number one cause.
As always, with any type of pain, make sure you see your doctor. Pain can be a symptom of a serious problem.
Chronic Back Pain is defined as any back pain, especially in the lower back, that lasts for three months or more. Most older Americans experience low back pain at some point. Unfortunately, due to normal wear and tear our backs simply wear out.
Our spine is made up of many individual bones called vertebra, in between these vertebra are disks that are filled with a gelatinous substance. These disks act as little shock absorbers to prevent the vertebra from coming into contact with each other and causing pain. These disks shrink as we get older, causing stiffness and pain.
But there are multiple things we can do, and you may need to do several of them to be successful.
“Be aware of your posture when sitting as well as standing, avoid positions that cause you pain.”
First and foremost…SEE YOUR DOCTOR!
This is to be certain that your problem is not more serious then typical Chronic Low Back Pain brought about by aging.
Here’s what you can do…
The key to back pain relief is prevention. Be aware of your posture when sitting as well as standing, avoid positions that cause you pain.
Eat healthy! Try and keep your weight down, the higher your weight the more pressure that’s on your spine. Stretching is very helpful, back strengthening exercises are as well. Attend Physical Therapy if your doctor feels it’s necessary, you will learn many helpful stretches and exercises you can do at home to keep your pain at a minimum.
When your pain is high you’re in an acute phase, rest and restrict your activities, especially those that cause pain. Ice and heat applications may be helpful. Many over the counter pain relief medications can help too. Check with your doctor to see which one is right for you.
Many alternative forms of treatment are helpful as well, Acupuncture, Pilates, yoga, Chiropractic care, Nerve Stimulation units (TENS) and meditation, to name a few.
Stay Active, Be Strong, Be Happy!
Nick Passarelli is a Registered Nurse, a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, a Certified Integrated Chronic Care Coordinator with over 37 years experience as a Long Term Care Professional, and is the owner of Phenix Home Care, Coventry Home Care and Capitol Home Care Network.