It’s not uncommon for older adults to develop back problems that can result in severe back pain. As we age, time takes a toll on our bodies overall, especially our backs.
You may be wondering, “What can cause lower back pain?” There are several factors that can result in the development of back pain in old age. The most common of these include spinal stenosis, degenerative changes in discs and joints, and spondylolisthesis.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the canal through which the spinal cord passes. This most commonly results in lower back pain. Degenerative changes in discs and joints can make the discs in the spinal cord less effective at absorbing shock. Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward onto the vertebra below.
All of these can result in severe back pain and, when left untreated, can lead to chronic issues that can affect your day to day life. Continue reading to learn what you can do to ease some of this pain.
What You Can Do From Home
There are various back pain relief solutions that you can do right from home. Though you should always consult with your personal physician to be sure of what’s safe for you.
Lifestyle changes like becoming more physically active can do wonders for your back. By staying active, you can help prevent episodes of severe back pain and heal sooner when you do experience back problems.
Over-the-counter medications are an excellent solution to relieving constant back pain. NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, will reduce inflammation around the spinal cord and temporarily relieve the pain associated with it.
The alternating application of cold and heat can have a similar effect to using medicines. The cold will help to reduce inflammation, which is the leading cause of severe back pain in older adults. The application of heat will relax the muscles around the spine to further reduce pain.
When consulting with your physician and explaining exactly how and where your back hurts, they may prescribe a set of back strengthening exercises to assist in relieving the pain. Exercises like planks and crunches will strengthen your core and back while stabilizing your spine as well.
Minor Treatment Options
If none of these methods are successful for relieving your back pain, you may want to consult your doctor about some alternative treatment options. These alternatives are a great step to take before considering more significant options like back surgery.
Acupuncture is growing in popularity as a back pain treatment. This treatment involves the insertion of thin needles, at various depths, into strategic points in the back to relieve pain. For most people, this provides beneficial results with notably low risk of side effects.
A visit to your local chiropractor can provide relief from severe back pain as well. Chiropractors use their hands to manipulate the spine in order to readjust it where needed, which can greatly reduce pain in many patients.
Comprehensive Treatment Options
If none of the aforementioned treatment plans provide relief, you may need to consult with a pain management specialist.
A back pain doctor may choose to treat you with nerve blocks that are injected to reduce inflammation and pain. They may also recommend a minimally invasive procedure such as a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These involve inserting solids into the spine to accommodate damaged vertebrae that are causing severe back pain.
Back pain related to old age can greatly affect our lives and the lives of loved ones. Therefore, it’s important to try at-home treatments or alternative back pain treatments before deciding to have surgery performed.
However, you should always consult with your physician before attempting any form of back pain treatment yourself. Check with your doctor to determine if a treatment is right for you.