Back pain is a common problem in aging retirees. However, there are a number of ways to avoid it, and by following these five tips you’ll be able to prevent back pain before it appears or alleviate it altogether.
Millions of Americans are obese, and this can lead to back problems since extra pounds, particularly in the midsection, will worsen the condition through shifting your gravity center and placing excess strain on the lower extremities. Find out the ideal weight for you and always try to remain within ten pounds of it.
Get Better Sleep
The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. There are many sleeping positions, and you’ll want to select the one which works best for you. One of the best positions however is sleeping on the side while your knees are slightly pulled to the chest. For those that like sleeping on their backs, placing a pillow beneath the knees with another beneath the lower back can bring comfort. Sleeping on the stomach can be tough on the back, so if you do that be sure to place a pillow beneath your hips.
Get More Exercise
Most people don’t exercise, and while you may be able to get away with it while young, it will start to catch up to you after fifty, and will often manifest itself in the form of back pain. The reason exercise is effective is because physical activity reduces both muscle tension and inflammation. Two forms of exercise which are very popular among elders is tai chi and yoga, which will teach you correct posture while boosting your flexibility, balance and strength.
Choose the Right Mattress
The mattress you sleep on can play a role in your back pain, making it worse or better. Some individuals prefer soft mattresses, but if they’re too soft this can cause back ache. However, mattresses which are too hard can cause the same issues. This is why most experts advise moderately firm mattresses especially for those that suffer from chronic backache. Trial and error might be required but positioning plywood between your mattress and box spring might make a softer bed stiffer. You can also purchase mattress pads if you feel your mattress is too firm.
Check Your Seat
Many people today have sedentary lifestyles where they spend lots of time sitting down, usually in front of a computer or television screen. This means that the seat you use will play an important role in your back comfort. Ideally, you want a chair that provides either low or straight back support. The chair should also be situated within an angle of approximately 110 degrees and when seated it should cradle your lower back comfortably.
If the chair you sit in doesn’t meet these criteria, it might be necessary to install either a lumbar pad or cushion that is wedge shaped. Some people find that placing their feet on top of a stool also helps. You also want to ensure that your computer or television monitor is always centered in front and two or three inches higher than eye level.