Sometimes it strikes from out of the blue, or maybe it’s more of a nagging pain that makes getting comfortable impossible.
No matter how it hits you… if you’ve ever suffered from back pain, you’ve got a lot of company!
A new study has found that back pain is a problem for around 50 percent of seniors – even ones who are considered to be active and healthy. And it also turns out that it’s not an isolated issue, either, but rather something that can lead to much bigger worries.
This type of pain can have a domino effect on your health, but it goes beyond simply a restless night’s sleep. It can be the start of a whole host of issues that can wind up nipping your independence in the bud.
That’s why you (literally!) can’t take back pain lying down.
But before you make an appointment to see your doctor, there are some proven techniques you can use to get some relief – and not one of them involves popping any pills.
Don’t just sit there
What researchers from Johns Hopkins, George Washington University and several other prestigious medical centers have just found — that huge numbers of active seniors are suffering from back pain – should come as no big surprise.
But believe it or not, that was the good news.
The bad news is about what such chronic pain can do to you.
While we all know back pain can stop you in your tracks when it’s flaring up, what you might not think about are the long-term consequences.
Once you’re at a certain age and something comes along that limits your movement, it can be the tipping point to a major change in your life. That’s why a hip fracture is often called a “death sentence.”
Where back pain is concerned, however, what this group of researchers discovered is that that kind of agony can mark the proverbial beginning of the end.
It starts by limiting how fast you can walk… and how far you can go.
And that turns out to be true even you’re a little on the older side and considered to be “well-functioning.”
As the researchers put it, any time “mobility limitations” are imposed on you, it can have lasting effects that may slowly but surely steal your ability to get around… and soon, even your independence.
That’s why you don’t want to just take to the recliner and channel surf when back pain hits! Especially since there are a number of excellent ways to fight back, such as:
- Inflammation busters: By reducing inflammation, you’ll not only be helping to alleviate back pain, but be doing something incredibly healthy for your entire body. Proven ways to beat inflammation include loading up on omega-3 fatty acids, either through diet with fatty fish such as tuna and wild-caught salmon, or with a quality fish-oil supplement. Other anti-inflammatory foods include ginger, blueberries, beets and, surprisingly, celery!
- Getting to the point: Acupuncture is no longer considered by conventional medicine as a “New Agey,” unproven pain treatment. It’s now widely recognized as a long-established and well-respected method of relieving pain – especially in your back. In fact, no matter where you live these days, you will almost be certain to find a state-licensed acupuncturist in your vicinity.
- Mom was right: Often we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to causing back pain, and poor posture is one big reason you could be suffering from it. If you’re on the computer a lot you need to frequently do a “position check” and avoid keeping your hand on that mouse for extended periods of time! Another way to take strain off your spine is to make sure your screen is at the right height. You shouldn’t have to look up or down, but be able to view the center of the screen from a comfortable sitting position.
- Get aligned: Seeing your chiropractor is probably one of the first things you should be doing when back pain strikes. In fact, many hospitals are now using chiropractic adjustments (along with acupuncture) to help relieve pain for patients in the ER instead of opioids!
And if one method doesn’t work, try another. Because when it comes to mobility, as that old song goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
“Back pain affects nearly half of well-functioning, highly active older adults” February 7, 2018, News Medical Life Sciences, news-medical.net