6 Tips for Preventing Back Pain When Caring for a ParentFebruary 26, 2019
Avoiding back pain can be difficult for the primary caregiver of a senior parent. Helping your parent get in and out of the bathtub, car, and bed, and up and down the stairs can put pressure on your back and lead you to musculoskeletal pain. Not just it injures you back, it makes your caregiving responsibilities more challenging.
Caregiving involves lifting your parent, twisting, and turning many times a day, and if not done properly, it can wreak havoc on your back. There are proper ways to bend when lifting a person and other factors related to caregiving to prevent such issues. Along with them, there are lifestyle factors that can help you prevent such discomfort as a caregiver. The following are six tips to prevent back pain when caring for your aging parent.
1. Focus on Proper Body Mechanics
If you need to bend down, make sure to keep adequate body mechanics in mind to avoid accidentally wrenching your back. Instead of the waist, bending at the knees and the hips can keep your body properly aligned and balanced and reduce the risk of sustaining a back sprain or strain. Moreover, keeping your neck, back, pelvis, and feet in proper alignment when twisting and turning can reduce the risk of hurting your back.
2. Stretch Your Muscles
If you can’t stretch your muscles every time before helping your parent with his or her daily activities, follow a morning and night stretching routine to kick start your caregiving day and end it with relaxation. It will help your back muscles get more flexible for muscle stress, heavy lifting, and unusual movements. You don’t have to stretch for hours to keep your muscles safe, but just a few minutes can be good to prepare for your caregiving session.
3. Take Vitamin Supplements
If you have developed a nutritional deficiency due to a poor diet or stress, you can be at high risk for back pain. If your daily meals aren’t enough nutrient-dense, consider taking a vitamin and mineral supplement with vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium to keep your bones, muscles, joints, and immune system healthy and optimal working state. This way, you can be more resistant to back pain and injuries. Even if you are simply taking dietary supplement, it is important to speak with a doctor who can suggest a suitable one for the level of work you do and the stress your back takes on a daily basis.
4. Increase Fish Consumption
Freshwater fish like salmon contain a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for supporting bone and muscle health, along with high anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help in reducing the likelihood of back sprains and strains. If your back gets hurt while lifting your loved one, these omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties may keep your pain level to a minimum. If you don’t like eating fish or you can take fish oil supplements. If you are taking aspirin or prescription anticoagulants, make sure to speak with a doctor. If taken with blood-thinning medications, fish oil can increase the risk of abdominal bleeding.
5. Wear a Back Brace
If your caregiving duties require more lifting and turning your parent, consider wearing a good back brace for maximum support. It can help your lumbar back strong and support the weight of another person you have lifted. When working with upper body functions, a back brace can highly reduce the risk of injuries. Back braces can effectively reduce back stress, but it can also do more harm than good if it doesn’t fit your properly, and may also lead to soft tissue injuries or impaired circulation.
6. Ask For Help
If you feel tired or get injured as an output of your caregiving duties, consider asking for help. You can call over a friend or a family member to help you with caring for your parent. There also professional senior care services available that allow family caregivers to take some rest to replenish while they can handle the caregiving session. With this, you will not only get some quality rest but will also get to know some tips and tricks that professional Portland home care professionals use.
Caring for a parent or an aging loved one can sometimes take a toll on your physical health. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to stay in good health.
Byran Thomas is a caring Person and loves adventure. His passion for writing is devoted to helping people find enjoyable and purposeful ways to make their lives better despite any worries and negativities. Byran Thomas works with Home Care Assistance of Portland, helping older adults enhance their quality of life and giving them a chance to age without leaving the comfort of home.