While sciatic nerve pain, known as sciatica, can affect people of all ages, it is especially prevalent in senior populations. The sciatic nerve runs from the back of the legs to the base of the spine, and it can become compressed or pinched, causing radiating pain in these areas. Whether it is caused by a degenerative disc, diabetes, bone spur or simply a result of weakening bones and muscles, sciatica can have a big impact on the quality of life.
Family caregivers that assist an elderly loved one with sciatica can learn some home remedies on how to help them relieve the nerve pain and be more comfortable.
How Sciatica Affects Seniors.
When seniors struggle with sciatic nerve pain, it can have a detrimental effect on their quality of life. At best, they face every day with a burning pain in the lower back and upper legs. In a worst case, sciatica can interfere with mobility, cause a loss of bladder control or bowel functions, and even force them to become bedridden. This requires many seniors to rely on family caregivers or elder care assistants to help them with even the most basic tasks. Sciatica can also cause permanent nerve damage in some cases.
Seniors are especially vulnerable to the effects of sciatica because they often have weakened muscles and bones as a result of age. They are also more likely to have the risk factors associated with developing sciatica, such as a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes or weakened bones and joints. It’s not unusual for seniors with sciatica to also suffer from inactivity, obesity, poor health habits, and low quality mattresses and couches, which are all contributing factors to the intensity of sciatic nerve pain.
Helping Seniors Find Relief With Sciatica.
With proper self-care, it’s possible for sciatica to improve. Some of the recommended approaches from medical professionals include over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine and muscle relaxers. This can help take care of the day-to-day pain that elderly loved ones may be experiencing. Many seniors also feel relief when they apply cold or heat to the painful area.
Physical therapy is another key part in helping relieve the pain from sciatica. Strengthening the body, especially the muscles in the back, can help reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve and therefore reduce pain. Corticosteroid injections can be administered sparingly to help with inflammation of the sciatic nerve and relief can last for a few months using this treatment. Some seniors also find relief from sciatic nerve pain through visits to a chiropractor or acupuncturist. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to relieve pressure on the nerve.
Chronic back and leg pain can really change the way seniors face their day-to-day activities. With family caregivers and elder care assistants that know how to help them manage their sciatic nerve pain, elderly people can minimize the discomfort and maximize their energy and efforts into rehabilitation and therapy so they can feel better faster.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Houston, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
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