Back problems in the elderly aren’t uncommon. They can occur as a result of several degenerative processes. Injury or congenital defects may also cause problems. Proper diagnosis and treatment can alleviate the discomfort and prevent further injury. In addition, the risk of many spine injuries can be reduced with healthy diet and exercise. Here are some of the most common spine issues among the elderly population.
Osteoporosis (OP) is a condition that progressively makes bones less dense, contributing to an increased risk of spinal fractures and possibly affecting vertebrae and small spinal joints. OP is more common in aging adults and menopausal women. This condition involves porous, weakened bones that are prone to fracturing easily. When vertebrae break, delicate nerve tissues endure undue stress and possible damage. Dietary changes, exercise, medications, and physical therapy are all possible interventions. In severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary.
2. Compression Fractures
Fractures are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries in the elderly. Obesity and osteoporosis are two of the main causes of compression fractures. However, this condition might also occur as a result of any activity that puts undue force on the spine, such as a fall or blunt trauma. The bones crack or completely fracture, depending on the amount of force applied. Treatment varies with the severity of the condition and may include pain management, a back brace, hydrotherapy, and muscle conditioning. To prevent further damage, severe fractures often require emergency treatment, which often consists of immobilizing the senior or performing surgery.
Living wth serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Windermere seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Osteoarthritis in any part of the body can be painful, but in seniors, it can lead to conditions such as scoliosis and degeneration of the disks and joints in the spine. When this condition develops in the spine, bone spurs form, which leads to varying degrees of discomfort and possible numbness in the extremities. Treatment depends on the location of the problem and may include pain management, physical therapy, or corrective surgery. Surgical treatment isn’t always a possibility for elderly people. Recommended nonsurgical treatments include resting, light stretching exercises, water therapy, and pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
Aging adults who experience chronic pain can benefit significantly from having professional caregivers help with everyday tasks. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Spondylolisthesis refers to vertebrae that slip out of alignment. This condition occurs secondary to normal degeneration, congenital problems, or injuries. When a vertebra slips, it pinches nerves, which causes pain. Treatment commonly involves physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that hold the spine in place.
5. Spinal Stenosis
Stenosis refers to a narrowing in the spinal canal. This condition commonly develops during degenerative processes that cause debris to fall into and build up in the central canal. However, an injury or congenital condition may also be an underlying cause. Pain management, physical therapy, and corrective surgery are possible treatment options.
If spine issues make it challenging for your loved one to age in place independently, consider hiring a home caregiver. In Altamonte Springs, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (407) 232-7155 today.