Back Pain in Senior Citizens – Causes, Precautions, and Treatments
You are a retired senior who is reading a book in your garden and enjoying nature. You decide to go to the kitchen to have some lemonade, and suddenly you feel intense pain in the back and are unable to move from the chair you were sitting on. Sounds horrible, right? But the fact is, this scenario is a reality for more seniors in Canada than you think.
In fact, according to an estimate, 80 percent of people will get back pain at least once in their lifetime. It is also a fact that back pain usually hits people who are more than 65 years of age and makes them visit a healthcare facility on a regular basis. These statistics are enough reason to read about this piece on back pain in senior citizens – causes, precautions, and treatments.
Causes of Back Pain in Seniors
The causes of back pain are varied and usually differ from person to person. Many people these days experience back pain because they have desk jobs in which they have to sit in one place for hours at once. Senior citizens usually get it due to degeneration of spinal joints due to aging.
A few other causes of back pain in seniors are:
- Disc degeneration
- Lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis
- Spinal infections
Though in some cases, the use of recommended products like a Dr. Ho Back Belt can help a senior citizen to get relief from back pain, in most cases, the advice of a medical expert is needed
Precautions for Back Pain in Seniors
Though age is a key reason for back pain in seniors and no one can reverse the aging process, there are specific things seniors can do to prevent back pain. They are:
- Maintain a positive outlook of your health and never have a poor self-perceived health status.
- Make sure that you don’t do vigorous levels of physical activity as it increases your chances of suffering from back pain.
- Smoking is also another factor that may lead to back pain, especially spinal pain because if you smoke, you are at risk of degenerative effects in spinal structures or compression of neural structures. Smoking is also costly for Canadians tobacco use costs more than 16 billion to the Canadian economy.
- Avoid poor living conditions as they may negatively affect your emotion and psychology. Depression also leads to back pain so try to be happy.
- Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your back healthy as a senior.
Treatment Options for Back Pain in Seniors
In many cases, the medical expert will prescribe analgesics like acetaminophen if you suffer from chronic spinal pain. Medications like tramadol or neuroleptics and tricyclics should be avoided if a person has a risk of seizure.
The patients can also be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if the aforementioned option doesn’t work. In case a senior is suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding or peptic ulcers, he or she can be given salicylates as they don’t upset the stomach.
The following treatments should only begin on the advice of an expert.
In this treatment option, fine needles are inserted into specific body points in order to manipulate them. It can stimulate the natural healing process of your body and hence reduce back pain.
In this method, an expert will use hands to adjust, massage, mobilize and stimulate the spine as well as the tissues surrounding it.
A needle that can transfer radiowaves is inserted to block nerve signals that are often painful. In some cases, this method may get rid of the pain for up to 9 months.
Nerve Blocks and Injections
In this option, steroids can be injected at the facet joint or spinal nerve root. Only a few people are eligible for this treatment option because the experts select the people carefully.
Minimally Invasive Vertebroplasty
This treatment option is best for people whose function is inhibited due to acute spine fracture. Cement is inserted to a broken vertebral body with an aim to help a patient recover faster and relieve pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
A portion of your spinal cord is stimulated to change the perception of pain. An electrode array is implanted to send electrical impulses to your spinal cord that divert or mask pain signals to ensure that they don’t reach your brain.
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression
This treatment is for lumbar spinal stenosis which is often due to ligamentous tissue overgrowth. In the procedure, a small incision is made without the need for stitches or anesthesia.
All in all, it can be seen that there are many causes of back pain and the treatment option is decided on the basis of the damage that is done to the back. There are also some preventive measures that can delay or stop the probability of back pain in seniors. So, a senior must abide by the precautions to avoid visits to the healthcare center due to back pain