How to Prevent Back Pain while Caregiving

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Caregiving can be physically challenging, and some tasks you perform may raise the risk of back pain. If you’re in pain, you may be unable to assist your loved one with the activities of daily living. Fortunately, you can take the following steps to prevent back pain while caregiving.

Do Some Stretching 

Stretching can reduce your risk of strains, sprains, and back pain. By stretching, you can loosen up your muscles, increase your range of motion, strengthen the surrounding structures of your spine, and reduce the risk of injury.  

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Tucson Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Eat More Seafood 

Freshwater fish such as salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory substances. Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to possess pain-relieving properties, so if you injure your back while caregiving, your discomfort may only last for a short time. 

If you prefer not to consume fish, consider taking fish oil supplements. But before you start these supplements, talk to your physician. Taking supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids often intensifies the effects of prescription anticoagulants and aspirin, which may raise the risk of abnormal bleeding.  

In Tucson, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Add Some Magnesium-Rich Foods to the Diet 

Eating nuts, bananas, avocados, and other foods rich in magnesium is a good way to prevent back pain. Magnesium relaxes muscle tissue and relieves stress and anxiety, which are risk factors for back pain. If you prefer, you can take magnesium supplements to get your recommended daily allowance instead of eating magnesium-rich foods. However, magnesium supplements can intensify the effects of blood-thinning medications and cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea. 

Magnesium supplements may also interact with cardiovascular medications known as beta blockers. If magnesium and beta blockers are taken together, a cardiac arrhythmia may develop. It’s best to talk to a doctor before taking any supplements.

Maintain Proper Body Mechanics 

Caregiving often involves heavy lifting, and if you don’t use proper body mechanics, you may hurt your back. When lifting, remember to bend at your knees, not at your waist. Also, make sure your pelvis, neck, feet, and back are all in alignment when you move, twist, or turn. 

If you need more training in maintaining proper body mechanics, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. The doctor can show you the correct techniques or suggest working with a physical therapist.

Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (520) 276-6555 to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your loved one.


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