Affecting about 20 to 30 percent of the population at any given time, back pain is fairly common. However, it can become an added burden for older adults already managing other health conditions on top of their recurring back pain. Offering support to a senior loved one with back pain is a good first step, but there are other things you can do to provide the necessary assistance. After consulting professional spine surgeons, Los Angeles families might have a few tips to follow.
Learn what you can about your loved one’s condition, including how it specifically affects seniors. For instance, a herniated disc can become more problematic for seniors with arthritis and may increase susceptibility to fractures if they also have osteoporosis.
Make Household Adjustments
Arrange furniture to make it easier for your loved one to get around and remove potential fall hazards like loose throw rugs. If going up and down stairs frequently aggravates your loved one’s back pain, see if you can set up his or her bedroom downstairs while also:
- Placing frequently used items within easy reach
- Using comfort items like back cushions
- Replacing old, uncomfortable mattresses
- Buying assistive devices like handheld grabbers and self-supporting canes
Help with household chores that involve lifting, repetitive movements, or a lot of bending and stretching. Minimize your loved one’s need to drive, which can place added strain on a sore back from getting into and out of a vehicle, by helping with errands. You can also lend a hand by:
- Providing reminders for medical appointments
- Hiring out for yard work and other burdensome tasks
- Arranging part-time assistance with housework from a senior support service
Participate in Rehab Efforts
Nobody likes to feel they have to do everything alone. Encourage your loved one to adopt healthy lifestyle choices and participate in physical therapy and rehab. You can be an active part of such efforts by:
- Taking part in exercise classes or going for walks together
- Making healthy meals together
- Exploring new hobbies and interests to relieve stress and anxiety that contribute to back pain
Go with your loved one to medical appointments whenever possible so you can offer support, take notes on anything discussed, and ask additional questions. Make sure medications are taken as directed and encourage your loved one to remain as active as possible within his or her capabilities because prolonged inactivity makes back pain worse and may lead to the need for minimally invasive back surgery.
If you are concerned your loved one might need some form of spine surgery, get in touch with the medical experts at The Spine Institute. We specialize in the spinal fusion surgery Los Angeles seniors claim has eradicated their back pain. Call our office today at 310-828-7757 to learn more and schedule an appointment.