Back pain is one of the most prevalent conditions affecting people of all ages. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better the older we get. Age-related back pain can be unbearable and debilitating.
As we age, we begin to lose muscle tone, bone strength, and the fluid that helps to provide cushion between our vertebrae. All of these changes can affect our posture and how we walk, which in turn affects our back. The good news, though, is that there are several easy and natural treatments for chronic back pain in older adults. Treatments that can help ease the discomfort while also helping to prevent further damage.
Many symptoms of back pain are a direct result of inflammation. Modifying your diet to cut out inflammatory foods, such as sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, red meat, and highly processed foods, can truly do wonders for your muscles and joints. Healthy fats, including omega 3s and flaxseed, in addition to garlic, ginger, fruits, and vegetables, can all help to fight existing inflammation. Your diet is one of the easiest and most effective natural treatments for chronic back pain in older adults.
Being active and stretching is essential for reducing age-related back pain. Yoga is a great low-impact activity that uses specific poses and movements to stretch the body and muscles. Yoga is especially beneficial to the muscles that help support the back and spine. It helps to stretch muscles and improves blood flow, which relieves muscular tension and promotes a neutral spinal alignment, thus improving your posture.
We spend a good portion of our time lying in bed, and a mattress that lacks proper support for sleep posture and spinal alignment will only worsen age-related back pain. Not all mattresses are created equal. You should select a mattress that is firm enough to support your back and neck. Old, worn-out mattresses can make it so you sink, causing your body to be out of alignment.
Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic medicinal treatment that uses thin, solid, metallic needles to penetrate the skin to rebalance the body’s energy. Research has found that acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and may influence involuntary central nervous functions, such as blood pressure and blood flow. For example, in a recent study, about 60 percent of patients suffering from chronic lower back pain who received acupuncture improved, compared with 39 percent of patients who received standard care, without acupuncture.
A relaxing natural treatment for age-related back pain in older adults is the use of massage therapy. Massage therapy is non-invasive and helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Rubbing techniques are used to relax the muscles and relieve tension, often directly correlated to back pain. Often, specific muscles responsible for the back pain can be targeted, helping get to the source of the discomfort.
Treating age-related back pain doesn’t have to result in heavy-dosed prescription medication that can lead to countless side effects. Instead, natural remedies are an option and can provide significant relief. For more information on how you can treat your chronic back pain, contact a VIPcare provider near you.