Back pain is the most common type of pain among adults, with 25% of Americans reporting that they’ve experienced back pain in the prior 3 months. It is usually a result of one of these three causes: back trauma from accidents, spine-related issues, or other medical conditions. Other factors that can exacerbate back pain includes poor posture, smoking, poor diet, lifting heavy object, being overweight, and lack of exercise. If left untreated, it can evolve into chronic back pain and eventually affect your loved one’s ability to be independent. Read on to learn how you can help you loved one fix their back pain.
Strengthen Core Muscles
We all know exercising is good for you, but did you know it helps with back pain? Core muscles help with aligning the spine, ribs, and pelvis which altogether relieves back pain. Low-impact core muscle-targeted exercises, such as yoga, swimming, or water aerobics, strengthens the core muscles and aids in reducing stress on your back. Additionally, exercise helps to boost immunity, improves balance, and decreases stress and anxiety.
Back pain can be caused by tightness in the leg and hip muscles. Stretching not only helps with loosening those muscles, but also improves flexibility and thus, alleviate back pain. You can do simple stretches at home or sign up for yoga classes. Incorporate these stretching activities into your daily routine, preferably when you first get up so that you will be limber and relaxed for the rest of the day.
Have a Good Diet
Foods that are high in sugar and fats, such as fast food, processed food and deep-fried foods can worsen back inflammation. It is crucial that these types of foods are avoided as much as possible. Instead, replace these foods with healthier options that are high in vitamins and minerals. Make sure your loved one’s diet has a good mix of vitamin B6, B12, C, D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. If your loved one is overweight, try to cut down on calories as having too much weight can add pressure and stress to their back.
Change Their Mattress
The average American spends about one-third of their life on the mattress. It is essential that we have a good quality mattress to have an overall good quality of life. A worn-out mattress does not provide sufficient support to the back, nor does it promote restful sleep. When we sleep, our bodies are repairing tissues and muscles and that’s why it is so important to get a good eight hours of sleep each night. So, throw out that 10-year-old mattress, and replace it with a brand new one that’s high in quality and has firm support.
Modify Their Household
If your loved one still wants to stay independent, but is hindered by their back pain, you can help with modifying their home to reduce movements that put stress on their backs. Replace furniture with those that provide good back support. Move frequently used objects in their range of motion or get them a reach extender which can help with getting far objects with little effort. All these little changes can add up and reduce overall back pain.