Non-Medicinal Pain Relief Ideas for Seniors

Non-Medicinal Pain Relief Ideas for Seniors
by Jessica Hegg, Guest Blogger for iPain 

Getting older shouldn’t mean putting up with more and more pain. Whether it’s backaches, foot irritation, or joint pain that has you or your loved one heading for the medicine cabinet each day, there might be a natural, pharma-free alternative that can help instead (without the added risks that might come with medicine use):

For Back Pain
A welcomed report from the American College of Physicians in early 2017 shared updated recommendations for people seeking relief for low back pain – instead of taking over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, try exercise, yoga, massage or acupuncture instead. Turns out that most low back pain simply goes away with time, but that active and mindful practices of the body could expedite the process.

Low-impact exercises like swimming, brisk walks, and dancing boost blood flow to the body helping reduce muscle inflammation. The flowing movements and deep breathing of yoga in turn help stretch muscles, loosen joints and strengthen the lungs. Acupuncture has been proven to relieve back pain in the short term by stimulating endorphin production in the body’s nervous system, and massage targeted towards strained and tense muscles can help provide pain-relieving relaxation and spinal alignment.

For Joint Pain
Arthritis is a common painful affliction that affects many older adults’ joints – making even everyday tasks harder and harder to do. Natural remedies that tackle the inflammation and stiffness of arthritis can be quite effective when used regularly.
Ginger and turmeric are two anti-oxidant rich roots that also serve as great anti-inflammatories in the body whether consumed in tea, capsule or “shot” form (where a small, potent amount of the roots are grated and drank with lemon or orange juice). Ginger shot side effects can include not only reduced inflammation around joints which were causing painful pressure, but researches have found when consumed after exercising, grated ginger can also address associated muscle pain.

Foods high in magnesium play an important role in preventing joint and bone pain as well – dark leafy greens, dried figs, avocado, nuts, and even dark chocolate have appreciable values of magnesium. Your body uses the mineral magnesium in a multitude of ways, including in strengthening bones and relaxing muscles and nerve endings.

For Foot Pain
87% of seniors complain of having at least one foot problem, and it is typically one that causes pain. As you age, your feet lose sensitivity, the skin can get rough and cracked, and ailments like bunions, corns, and calluses can cause annoying pain. Foot care is essential to preventing foot pain and can be as simple as washing feet each night, and drying and moisturizing them thoroughly.

Wearing proper-fitting footwear that provides both comfort as well as stability and ankle support can also help alleviate foot pain (and prevent falls). Shoes that don’t rub and cause skin irritation, and that provide arch support for your foot type are a must. Get your foot measured the next time you go to buy shoes to make sure you are buying the right size and type that will provide you pain-free comfort.

With regular exercise, a balanced diet that supports a healthy weight and strong bones, and access to helpful information about safe and essential remedies, older adults have more natural pain relief options at their fingertips than ever before.

Jessica Hegg is the content manager at Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others.

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