Help for Low Back Pain

With aging come a few anticipated aches and pains but low back pain in older age can stem from some unexpected sources.   It’s not just improper lifting, twisting or bending that can cause pain in the low back; restless sleep, tight hips and carrying extra weight can also contribute to back discomfort.

Pain or injury in another part of the body, such as a sore foot or twisted ankle, can lead to a limp which may also throw the back out of alignment, causing pain.  It’s important to treat even small injuries including sprains and strains before they lead to more problems.

Prolonged sitting can also aggravate back pain; try to keep moving with strengthening and stretching exercises recommended by your doctor.  Low back pain can be relieved by lying on the floor with a pillow under your knees and hips and knees bent to relieve pressure on the back.  If possible, place your feet on a chair with hips and knees bent for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Alternating heat and ice packs for 20 minutes each combined with a pain reliever that reduces swelling, such as Ibuprofen, can also offer relief.

Gentle stretching of back muscles can help with lower back pain.  Try lying on your back and gently hugging your knees, one at at time to your chest.  To loosen tight hip joints,  lie on your back with knees bent and together, feet flat on the floor.  Slowly lower one knee to the side as far as you can without pain, hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.  With any stretching exercise, it is important to start slow and steady and never bounce or push past the point of pain.

Yoga has been found to help seniors improve range of motion, flexibility and balance and has been linked with fewer sleep disturbances and a decrease in body fat.  Talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program. To learn more about flexibility and strength exercises for seniors, visit the National Institute on Aging website at .

Solutions for LOW BACK PAIN include movement, gentle stretching & floor positioning Click To Tweet