Bad Back Health Linked to Earlier Mortality in Seniors
– by Guest Blogger Jenni Oscar
Although back pain can affect people of all ages, it is particularly prevalent in people aged over 60, who are more likely to be facing issues caused by the degeneration of the joints in their spine. Osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis are just two conditions that can interfere with daily life by causing pain and stiffness, especially in the morning and the evening.
Pain can stop us from carrying out many of the most crucial activities in our lives, including exercise, and it can make getting a good night’s sleep, or completing daily tasks that require movements such as bending, impossible.
Research indicates that back pain is related to earlier mortality, suggesting that steps need to be taken to stop it in its tracks, as early as possible.
New Research Links Back Pain to Increased Risk of Dying
A recent study published in the European Journal of Pain involving 4,390 twins aged over 70, found that spinal pain increases the rate of all-cause and disease-specific cardiovascular mortality, by 13%. The findings are important because back pain had previously been considered a non-life-threatening condition.
The precise reasons for the findings are unknown are warranted further research, noted scientists, who believe that spinal pain may be part of poor functional ability and general health, thus impacting the risk of death. As noted by one of the researchers:
With a rapidly growing aging population, spinal health is critical in maintaining older age independence, highlighting the importance of spinal pain in primary health care as a presenting symptom.”
Chiropractic Treatments to Address Back Pain
Chiropractic care can go a long way towards addressing the causes of pain; merely medicating symptoms does not fix the root issue, and indeed, chiropractic attention can play an important role in preventing pain and maintaining health for children and adults alike.
Those who already have chronic pain can also benefit from a plethora of non-surgical approaches, including spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercises, and manual therapies, to address inflammation and muscle tension.
Indeed, all adults should complete strengthening and stretching exercises regularly, and take care of their backs by avoiding heavy lifting, maintaining good posture when standing, sitting or working, and staying active. It is also important to remain at a healthy weight by following a sound nutritional regime.
How Can Older Adults Increase their Sense of Security?
One of the hardest issues for seniors with back pain, is their fear of falling, which can cause bone fractures and hospitalization. Seniors living alone or who spend various hours alone might consider investing in technology that informs medical services if there is an emergency or if the wearer has fallen.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure; seniors should therefore include strength and stretching exercises as part of their daily workout.
Some of the most useful exercises include neck and chest stretches, gentle back bends in a sitting position, and gentle twisting while sitting on a chair.
It is vital that seniors follow a supervised workout and attempt to address pain at its core, to reduce the reliance on prescriptions and other medications, all of which have side-effects. Moreover, many medications are unfortunately ineffective at dealing well with pain.
Older adults with back pain should take important steps to quell pain and strengthen their back. A chiropractor will create an effective plan incorporating strength exercises and stretches, to prevent back pain and treat it if already present.