Old age is the door to many health problems, including back pain. However, in more than 70 percent of cases, the pain is caused by wrong posture, an inactive lifestyle, or emotional issues. People rarely explore the reasons for back pain and in most cases, it stays unreported and undertreated. While it is not possible to follow a rigorous schedule for pain management in old age, there are easy ways to get relief from the persisting pain. We will also embrace techniques to prevent back pain. However, it is important to keep in mind that every process could take time, depending on how effectively you follow it.

Causes of Back Pain

  1. Physical Cause
  2. Emotional Cause

The physical cause may include some structural problems such as disc degeneration, spinal injury, or osteoporosis(reduced bone mass) that puts pressure on the spinal nerves. It is best to take the advice of a medical specialist if the problems above cause back pain.

Strangely, most cases of back pain are fuelled by emotional reasons such as stress, emotional disbalance, and late-life crisis(reflecting on retirement, loss of a dear one, illness, or life changes).

Back Pain Relief Measures

  1. Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation

    Light yoga exercises and stretching can greatly relieve people of any age from back pain. The popular yoga stretches for back pain for aged people are the cobra pose, cat-cow pose, bridge pose, Ardha chandrasana, seated back stretch, neck and chest stretch, and spine twist stretch. These postures relax the back muscles, improve balance and flexibility.

    Pranayama or breath control exercises also help in relieving back pain. Ujjayi Pranayama improves our energy level and helps in blood circulation which oxygenates and relaxes our muscles. Dirga Pranayam and Meditation have also proven to enhance the healing process for people with acute back pain. Meditation increases mindfulness and takes the attention off the pain to a soothing memory, thereby helping us cope with the pain.

  2. Alternative Therapies

    Healing with alternative therapies such as Meru Chikitsa, Marma Chikitsa, Panchakarma treatment, Acupuncture, massage therapy, and Physiotherapy also help relieve the pain. While Meru and Marma chikitsa are touch treatments that remove blockages, panchakarma treatment involves Ayurvedic medicines that help restore your dosha balance and improve energy and oxygen flow in your system.

  3. Lifestyle Changes

    Old age slows us down, but the key to an active life is being on the move. Practice a healthy lifestyle, include light exercises for back pain, and prioritize being happy. Be careful with your diet as food can trigger episodes of back pain (increased cortisol levels, reduced metabolism, chest pain, etc. can be caused by unhealthy food intake). Include calcium and vitamins in your diet as they improve bone density. Refrain from addictions like smoking and drinking. Swimming, walking, and cycling are fun exercises that also help strengthen the body’s core muscles and prevent back pain. Ensure that you do these exercises for at least 3-4 hours a week to ensure consistency.

  4. Mindfulness

    Many times, we just keep living without reflecting on our life. Mindfulness helps us enjoy the present moment and not be worried about the past and the future. Since worry and stress fuel back pain in many, practicing mindfulness can help immensely. There are methods to improve mindfulness with guided meditation, mantra meditation, and group meditation. Our posture problems also get corrected by consistent awareness.

    Breath is the biggest secret that nature has put in you. It is linked to your emotions. Through breathing exercises, you can control your emotions. You must do some breathing exercises regularly. Then you will have more say over your mind.

    Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  5. Relaxing Tips

    Taking warm baths can help reduce the stiffness in your back muscles. On the other hand, a cold press can relieve painful muscle spasms and strains. Do not overstrain your body with exercises. Rest well and enhance support for your back with a belt(when you move or stand), a suitable mattress (when you sleep), or cushions (when you sit). Also, ensure wearing non-slippery footwear to ensure the prevention of falls. Remove any tripping hazards from home, such as uncovered cables, uneven steps, old rugs, etc. 

Age is Only a Number

With life expectancy improved by more than six years and technological improvements to challenge any health issue, age is no longer a deciding factor. But what still needs consistency is following a good lifestyle so that we don’t spend our blessed life in any kind of agony, let alone back pain.

Life is nothing to be very serious about. Life is a ball in your hands to play with. Don’t hold on to the ball.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar