Amy’s father, Stan, had always been an active guy. He loved to work in the yard and do his own home repairs. But, lately, Amy noticed that her father was sitting far more often when she visited his house than he used to. When Amy asked him if he was feeling alright, Stan reluctantly admitted that his back had been hurting for quite some time and now the pain made doing his usual activities unbearable on most days. Amy was understandably concerned and urged her father to see a doctor. The doctor discovered that Stan was suffering from age-related changes to the joints and discs in his spine. The doctor offered a treatment plan, but also suggested that Stan try some non-medical things at home that could further relieve his back pain.
If your older family member is also suffering from back pain, in addition to seeing a doctor, there are lots of ways to ease the pain at home, like the suggestions below.
Stay as Active as Possible
Back pain can make older adults want to sit around and do nothing, but that’s one of the worst things they can do. Physical activity is important to keep the spine lubricated and healthy. Instead of letting the older adult sit around, encourage them to keep moving just as they always have. They should continue to engage in activities around the house and do things like working in the garden or taking the dog for a walk. Gentle exercises like yoga and tai chi can also be helpful.
Watch Posture During Sleep
If your aging relative sleeps on their back, it can put stress on their spine. Try having them sleep with a pillow under their knees to relieve the pressure.
Keep Bones Strong
Ask the doctor whether the older adult should take calcium and vitamin D supplements to support bone health. Other ways to get these nutrients is by consuming milk, yogurt, or leafy greens for calcium and fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver for vitamin D.
Wear Different Shoes
The shoes your aging relative is eating can affect more than their feet and legs, they can also affect the back. Shoes should be comfortable and supportive with a heel that is less than an inch high.
Use Elderly Care
Even when your aging relative takes steps to reduce their back pain, there may be days when the pain makes it hard for them to do the things they need to. On those days, it can be helpful to have an elderly care provider available to help them out. In fact, having an elderly care provider who visits regularly and can help with the most strenuous tasks can prevent the senior from injuring their back and making the pain worse, like carrying heavy laundry baskets or bending and reaching to get ingredients or pans from cupboards.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Scotch Plains, NJ or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at Perfect Touch Home Care Firm today! (908) 469-2701