Many seniors experience back pain, poor posture, or spinal stiffness. There are many ways they can increase their back mobility, ranging from exercises to lifestyle changes. Here are six tips for boosting back health in the senior years.
1. Perform Lower Back Exercises
Many seniors experience pain in the lower back muscles because these muscles are needed for physical tasks like lifting objects and standing up. When seniors are too sedentary, these muscles can tighten and atrophy, making everyday movements difficult. To increase range of motion in the lower back area, seniors can do simple stretching exercises, including knee-to-chest hugs that involve lying on the ground and pulling the knees toward the upper body. Bridges are another option—seniors should lay on the ground, bend the knees, and raise the hips upward with their feet flat on the floor.
Some seniors need help with exercising. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Engage in Upper Back Exercises
Seniors shouldn’t forget to exercise the upper back as well. If the muscles around the upper back, shoulders, and neck are strong, seniors will have less pain and better posture. While not all seniors are capable of doing traditional push-ups, they can get the same benefits from wall push-ups, which are done in a standing position with the palms placed on the wall.
3. Limit Rest
When seniors are experiencing back pain, spending time in bed or on the sofa sounds more appealing than staying active. However, too much inactivity exacerbates back pain, and seniors should try to limit their bed rest. When recovering from an injury or a strained muscle, they should try to get back on their feet within a reasonable timeline. If they’re managing chronic back pain, they should stick to an activity regimen as prescribed by a doctor.
4. Practice Good Posture
It can be difficult for seniors to maintain good posture, especially if they have a condition like osteoporosis. When possible, seniors should try to be mindful of their posture throughout the day. Hunching over when doing everyday tasks like brushing the teeth or washing the dishes can put undue pressure on the muscles in the upper and lower back. When seniors catch themselves hunching over or curving the lower back, they should straighten up to minimize the pressure bearing down on the nerves.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
5. Do Core Exercises
To perform everyday activities, the muscles of the back work in tandem with the muscles of the core. If the core muscles aren’t strong enough, the muscles of the back pick up the slack, which can put unhealthy strain on the back muscles. To strengthen abdominal muscles, seniors can try exercises like upper-abdominal crunches, which can be done on a chair, and seated obliques.
6. Identify the Triggers
To mitigate back pain, it’s important for seniors to know what activities cause the most distress. For example, some seniors may experience backaches after vacuuming the house. Once seniors identify their triggers, they should develop habits that mitigate pain. If vacuuming leaves them in pain, they might decide to tackle one room at a time or set a timer for five-minute intervals.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Colorado Springs seniors can depend on. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers, call us at (719) 822-1229 today.