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Back Pain Among Older Adults

Back Pain awareness week 2018

This year, back pain awareness week’s theme is ‘back pain among older adults’. BackCare, the organisation behind the initiative, is setting out to increase the awareness of the cause and effect of back pain in the older adult.

No Need To Suffer

Back pain is one of the primary disabling health conditions amongst older adults. Current evidence suggests that the prevalence rate of lower back pain increases with age and that a large proportion of the older adult populations’ lower back pain goes under-treated or untreated.

Often in the Clinic we will hear stories from older patients as to how they have lived with their back pain for years but just accept it as part of the ageing process. However, rather than accepting that lower back pain will always be there as we get older, we strive to educate patients on effective ways to manage their lower back pain, with the aim of ultimately improving their overall quality of life and maintaining their independence.

Simple Self-Help Strategies

Regular exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling is excellent at keeping your body moving and your back strong. It has been found that even when in discomfort with back pain it is generally better to keep moving rather than spending long periods at rest.

Gentle walking and stretching can help to ease and prevent general back stiffness.

Taking regular breaks from more strenuous tasks such as gardening and remembering to lift heavy loads using the correct technique (bend your knees & hips, not your back)

Maintaining a good posture by avoiding slumping in your chair or walking with your shoulders and upper back hunched.

How Can Osteopaths Help You?

  • Osteopaths are well trained in assessing the causes of back pain in all age groups and this is no different for older adults.
  • By carefully listening to a patient’s history and with a thorough physical examination we are able to differentiate between back complaints we can help to treat and those that are more serious and may need further investigation.
  • As osteopaths we combine a range of gentle manual techniques to carefully aid in easing pain and improving your movement with advice on exercises and lifestyle changes that will help you further manage your lower back pain.

Ultimately, if you experience back pain at any time, whether it is a sudden flare up or a more long term problem, the best advice is to seek help from a healthcare professional. So don’t hesitate to come in and speak to one of our osteopaths who will be more than happy to help.