Back Care in Older Age

Published: 17/02/2019

Back care is important at any age but especially in older age. Here are a few Bluebird Care Bromley tips on looking after your back.

We need to make sure we look after our backs throughout life, but it’s particularly important in older age when we’ll commonly experience more back pain and problems. The general wear and tear that occurs over time, lifestyle choices and medical conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis can all contribute to back complaints in later life. But there are some things you can do to lower your risk of suffering with back problems in older age.

  1. Eat healthily and drink plenty of fluid – this seems to be on every list when it comes to medical conditions but it’s true that your body needs a healthy diet to be able to function well. Bones, cartilage, muscles and tendons all need to be provided with the right nutrients to work properly. The discs between the vertebrae also need water to support the structure of the spine and help prevent the bones from rubbing together. Eating healthily will also help to regulate your body weight which will help lessen any pressure caused by an excess.

  2. Stay Active – exercising regularly helps to keep your bones strong and improves your muscle strength and flexibility. An important area to exercise is your core. These are the muscles in your midsection (abdomen, sides and lower back) that help to support your body. Weak core muscles can often cause lower back pain as they are giving the spine the support it needs. Before you panic and envisage hours of sit ups, don’t worry! A simple internet search will give you lots of simpler ways to strengthen core muscles.

  3. Think about your posture – it’s easy to let our posture slip, especially when we’re sitting down a lot or snuggling in a comfy chair. Our backs sag, our shoulders come forward and our back isn’t getting the support it really needs. Making sure you’re sitting in the right way in supportive chair can significantly improve back pain for many people. When walking, the simple act of pulling the shoulders back and looking ahead can work wonders. Making sure you’re sleeping on a properly supportive mattress with a good pillow will help keep your back and neck aligned overnight too.

  4. Beware lifting and carrying – it’s something we’re very aware of as a care provider! We’re always training our staff to make sure they don’t take unnecessary risks or use the wrong techniques when moving and handling at work. But it’s just as important to follow the same principles in your general life too. Twisting, bending from the waist or trying to pick up something that’s far too heavy are all things that can lead to a nasty back injury. The NHS website has a great guide to safe lifting techniques.

Of course, while these tips might help to prevent or reduce back problems for some people, others may need more intervention. If you’re suffering from any kind of back pain, it’s always best to get it checked out by your doctor to be on the safe side.
Organisations like the NHS, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and Backcare have some useful information on types of back pain and treatments.

Supporting people at home

Having problems with your back can make independent living at home quite challenging. Daily tasks that were once done easily can become difficult if back issues are reducing your mobility and causing pain. With bespoke care at home, you could have a level of homecare that supports your unique needs – whether that means just a bit of help to do the shopping or full-time, live in care.

Whatever, your individual circumstances, at Bluebird Care Bromley we’ll help support you to remain in your home and live as independently as possible. Contact our friendly team online today for more information or give us a ring on 020 8315 0236.