Ahead of Backcare Awareness Week October 8th, our next blog is entitled: Looking After Your Back When Pain Strikes.
In later years it is important to look after those areas of the body which are vulnerable to aches and pains. The back is no exception and as it is such a delicate region of the body, a bit of tender loving care is required from time to time. So, comprising of a total of 24 bones connected together in-between a range of joints, the spine is a complicated part of the human anatomy.
To prevent inflammation from developing over the age of 50, apart from seeking medical advice, there are lots of other things one can do to ease the pain for the most common back complaints.
- Physical activity: Back pain is sometimes alleviated by physical exercise. Exercise will help loosen the joints through movement while making them suppler. However, you must be careful not to aggravate pain from straining the muscles too much. The NHS website has some good advice on the safest way for you to exercise: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercises-for-back-pain/
- Physical Therapy: A prescribed programme of back exercise can be devised for you by expert Physio Therapists to increase strength, agility, balance and maintaining flexibility in your back. While supporting your abdominal muscles in this way, the spine will become more pliable and freer from pain. We have a number of back specialists visiting Age Concern during Back Care Awareness Week. You can find our programme here: https://www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk/2018/09/20/backcare-awareness-week-programme-at-age-concern-colchester/
- Medication: Taking painkillers at a regular time each day is considered far more efficient over taking pills on demand as and when the pain worsens.
- Ice packs: They can be effective when applied directly to the area of pain. Try pulses of 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off to alleviate the inflammation and spasms. Failing that, a bag of frozen peas will do as a substitute.
- Heat pads: These can be introduced 2 or 3 days after the pain starts. Warm baths and heat lamps are equally effective both for relaxing the muscles and stimulating blood flow. To prevent burns, do not sleep with a heating pad on or prolong its’ use beyond 15 – 20 minutes. Stretching muscles is recommended which often prevents muscle spasms from occurring after the application of heat.
- Rest: As you get older, recovery from a back injury becomes longer. Gentle stretches are found to have a therapeutic effect. Resting in bed beyond 48 hours is more likely to exacerbate symptoms and extend recovery time.
If you are in any doubt always check in with the GP or health provider.