Being a family caregiver comes with a lot of responsibilities that could affect your physical wellbeing. If you have to lift a senior loved one often or spend a considerable amount of time on your feet, you could end up having back pain. Keep the following tips in mind for lowering your risk of developing backaches.
Stretching exercises ease back pain by promoting healthy blood circulation in the muscles. Doing these exercises relieves tension in back muscles, which results in reduced pain. Some stretches to try include rolling your shoulders in circles for upper back pain and pulling your knees to your chest for lower back pain. You can do these stretches a few times a day to keep your back muscles from tensing up on you.
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 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.
Practice Good Posture
The way you hold your body while standing or sitting can have a big impact on your spine. Poor posture increases the risk of developing upper or lower back pain. When you stand, try to remain straight with your shoulders pulled back. You should also stand so your weight is evenly distributed. When you’re sitting, keep your knees at a 90-degree angle and pull your shoulders back.
Lift with Your Legs
If you have to lift your loved one while caregiving, do so using your leg muscles instead of your back muscles. Lifting someone could put too much strain on the back muscles, resulting in muscle tears and other injuries. Your leg muscles can support your loved one’s weight better when you lift him or her. As you move your parent, make sure your back is as straight as possible. Twisting or turning could damage your back muscles.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Carmichael, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Back pain could become worse if you’re not drinking plenty of water. If you’re not hydrated enough, your spinal discs could end up shrinking. Drink water throughout the day to ensure your spinal discs and the rest of your body have enough hydration.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Not getting enough sleep means your spine and back muscles won’t have time to fully recover from a day of caregiving. Aim to get roughly eight hours of sleep each night to ease back pain before starting another day of caregiving. Make sure you have a comfortable sleep environment with a firm mattress, slightly cool bedroom temperature, and little to no lighting.
Don’t avoid physical activity when your back hurts. Staying physically active can help your back muscles and spine recover. Being inactive can make muscle tension or damage in your spine worse over time.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality homecare services, Carmichael Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (916) 485-4663 today.