If you’re old enough to readily recall our song reference in the headline of this blog post, then you’re old enough to start taking a little better care of your spine. That may sting a bit, so we’ll give you a minute. In all seriousness, while it’s important to keep your back healthy at any age, most people start noticing back pain right around the time they hit 40 years old (according to PennMedicine.org) — which is the bad news. The good news is there are several ways you can improve age-related back pain.
Pain in your back is usually caused by inflammation or pressure on your nerves. There are three common reasons people develop back pain related to getting older. They are:
- Degenerative discs or joints
- Spinal stenosis
- Slipped vertebra (Spondylolisthesis)
6 Ways to Ease Back Pain
There’s hope for back-pain sufferers! You don’t have to suffer until the pain is so bad that you require medical attention. Alleviate pain now by doing more of the following:
- Get Active: The more you move, the better you’ll feel.
- Do Physical Therapy: Improve your strength, balance and flexibility with a specialist-prescribed exercise program.
- Take Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin, can help ease pain.
- Give Your Shoulder the Cold Shoulder: Or any other body part that hurts. Icing a pain as soon as it starts can help knock it out. We recommend 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off with ice, frozen peas, or whatever you have in the freezer that’s cold and moldable.
- Bring on the Heat: Once you’ve iced for a couple of days, switch to heating pads and warm baths to relax your muscles and stimulate blood flow. Stretch your warmed-up muscles to prevent spasms after applying heat.
- Take it Easy: As we age, our injury recovery time slows down. Don’t push yourself too much. There’s a fine balance between gently stretching and moving to keep from getting stiff and overexertion.
When Home Remedies Aren’t Enough
Despite your best efforts, sometimes medical intervention is required to soothe an aching back. Check out our blog post on minimally and non-invasive treatment options that can help you feel better faster. Options include but aren’t limited to:
- Medication — topical or oral
- Steroid injections
- Minimally invasive, or orthobiologics, procedures
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation