Back pain is a common problem today, more so for senior citizens who may also experience age-related weakness and stiffness that make the aches and pains a constant challenge. But being older doesn’t mean you have to settle for a life riddled with aches and pains. Regular exercise and physical activity can go a long way in reducing the incidence of the issue.
Remember, it is important to always check with your physician/doctor before starting any new exercise regimen or even trying these stretches. If you experience pain while attempting any of the stretches, please stop immediately.
Back Pain Stretches and Back Pain Exercises For Senior Citizens
In addition to stretches that help your back, it is important to build core strength. This will help you improve your stability and overall strength so that day-to-day activities like sitting, standing, bending, or just keeping your balance are easier and you’re less vulnerable to falls or aches and pains.
We’ve rounded up a mix of core exercises and stretches that are known to help senior citizens. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
#1 The Bridge
This pose works multiple muscles of your core simultaneously from the ribs to the abdomen, back and even pelvis making it a great option at any age . Lie down on the floor on a comfortable mat keeping feet flat on the ground with knees bent. Your arms should be to your sides. As you lift your hips off the ground, tighten the buttocks. Keep lifting until your hips are in a straight line to your shoulders. Pause for a few seconds in the elevated pose. Slowly return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.
#2 Seated Backbend
This gentler variation on backbends is done seated in a comfortable chair, making it possible for the elderly with restricted mobility or low physical fitness levels as well. Ensure you use a sturdy chair for this so it doesn’t topple. Sit up straight with both feet flat on the ground. Keep the palms of your hand on your lower back, hips, or lap – whatever is comfortable. Starting with your head, arch your back all the way down from the neck to your lower back – feel the stretch in the spine . Hold the full stretch for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times or build up to 10 if you can.
#3 Seated Cat Cow Pose
Instead of performing this sequence on the ground on all fours, you can do this seated in a chair or on a bench . Just be sure that your feet stay flat and planted to the ground throughout. Your hands can sit lightly on the knees. As you breathe out gently roll backward from your lower back; picture it folding/bending…first one vertebra, then the next. Stop when your neck is also extended and gaze at the ceiling. Breathe in and start to tuck your belly into the back of your spine, roll the shoulders forward – start with the neck this time and end with the lower back being straightened.
#4 Seated Spinal Twist
Again, sit in a chair for this with feet flat on the ground. Grasp the back of your chair with your hands and slowly twist from the waist to turn to the back on one side, then the other . This will help not just with flexibility, but also should ease any tension/stress in your neck as well as back muscles .
#5 Mountain Pose/Tadasana
This standing pose from yoga can be beneficial to senior citizens experiencing lower back pain. It helps those who have issues with posture and stand leaning to one side. Focus on balancing your weight evenly on both feet, maintaining full contact with the floor (check each toe is touching the ground), arms by your side. Stretch your arms out and bring them up over your head so that both palms are face to face. It offers a good lengthening stretch to the spine .
A Topical Pain Relief For Senior Citizens
One handy topical over-the-counter pain relief remedy many senior citizens rely on is a back pain cream. Omnigel and Omnigel spray are diclofenac-based formulations designed to provide immediate relief from a variety of muscle and joint pains including backache. Simply apply to the part of the back that’s hurting and feel the pain and discomfort reduce as the inflammation and stiffness eases. Available at pharmacies online and offline across India, Omnigel is a topical pain relief gel you can rely on.
Try topical remedies Omnigel and Omnigel spray for a simple yet effective way to deal with the pain from backache. It’s time to reclaim your life!