Pain relief is a common health problem many people across age groups feel but it can be particularly bothersome for senior. Lower back pain in particular can be very difficult, and in some cases can lead to a lot of problems with mobility and day-to-day activities. While there might not be a simple answer to eliminating pain forever, here are some simple tips and remedies to help reduce back pain.
1. Endorphin rush
This might not seem like the first thing you want to do when experiencing pain, but getting some exercise can really help alleviate pain and help you focus on other things. If the pain is severe, there is no need to dive into heavy aerobics and exercise, but start slow. Go for a walk around the block on flat ground, or do some relaxing yoga poses such as these ones. The ensuing endorphin rush will do wonders to help you get through back pain.
2. Heat/cold therapy
Another common tip that holds weight for back pain relief is temperature-based therapy. Many people will find a lot of relief by using cold therapy such as ice packs to help lessen the symptoms. Cold therapy works for some since it reduces inflammation (in case that is the cause for your back pain) and can keep nerves from spasming and causing pain.
Others find heat therapy to be more effective, such as using a heat pack. Heat therapy helps bring back blood flow to heal your back, as well as acting as an inhibitor for the pain.
Either way, it might take some trial and error to see what works best for you. It might be worth working with a healthcare professional to identify the type of pain you have, and its cause, and then seeking out either cold or heat therapy as it is an effective and quick way to get some pain relief.
3. Stretch it out
As the earlier point about endorphins mentioned, there is something about moving more that can help alleviate pain, as counterproductive as that might sound. If you are not ready for exercise, why not try some light stretching to to help your muscles become stronger? This will help manage your pain, while also giving you long-term relief if you stay consistent in stretching.
Hamstring stretches tend to be the most popular ones for back pain. To do this, start by sitting on the floor with one leg straight and one leg bent. Keeping your back flat, learn forward from the hip until you feel a stretch behind your thigh. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat with the other leg. Try doing this for each leg at least 5 times.
4. Try out new hobbies
If exercise is not necessarily your cup of tea, why not try something new? The cognitive functions for learning something new, or taking up a new hobby can help take your mind off the pain and help you focus your energy elsewhere. If you are not sure where to start, learning a new language through free apps such as Duolingo might help. Or you could work with your local senior rec center to see what classes they offer, and pick up a new skill such as a learning an instrument or joining an art group.
5. Take a relaxing bath
If all else fails, another recommended option is to take a nice, long bath with Epsom salts. Also known as magnesium sulfate, this type of salt enters your skin and helps ease sore muscles. All you need is 20 minutes to get some quick relief, but you can stay in for a little longer if you find that it helps. This is also especially worthwhile to do so after exercising and/or stretching to help your muscles recover.
Make sure to use warm water, not hot or cold as extreme temperatures do not help with easing muscles. Another recommendation is to bring in a small tennis or rubber ball to rub alongside your back as you are in the bath for a little massage to further help with pain relief.
With any kind of pain, these remedies will be a temporary relief. If you find that the pain is coming back often, ranges in severity, and limits you from participating in day-to-day activities, then please consult a medical professional.