Aging Parents, Adult Children: Back Aches!

Most of us have experienced back aches of some type, and a fair number of our senior parents have back pain even more often than we do. For me, the only solution is to wait out a back ache and keep moving, even if it doesn’t feel so good to move (and it doesn’t). Most of us hurt, obsess, and use pillows — I do especially when I play the piano — wondering all the time why modern medicine cannot provide minimal medical care (a visit to a doc, a prescription, a quick co-pay, voila no pain) to solve the problem. Then one day the pain starts going away, at least a bit, though sometimes it doesn’t for a long time. While back pain can be, well — a pain — I do not want to even think about surgery.

Note:  If I exercise  and stretch regularly (4-5 times a week) my back pain is minimal. If I don’t exercise for a while, say for a week, the back pain returns at some point, and for the exercise and stretching to start working again takes some time. Check out this MedlinePlus tutorial about preventing back pain. When I am working hard to keep back aches at bay — which I should be all of the time — I use these exercises from the Mayo Clinic website in addition to walking and exercising on an elliptical trainer.

Over at Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat blog is a guest post about back aches. The column, The Predicament of Back Aches, by Norman Hadler, M.D., a physician who practices and teaches at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, explains the intricacies of back aches. Dr. Hadler is the author of Stabbed in the Back: Confronting Back Pain in an Overtreated Society. (UNC Press – Check out the backache Q and A at the site.) Also check out the detailed reviews at Amazon.

Read the post. The paragraph below conveys the flavor of Dr. Hadler’s column.

Low back pain will go away, but seldom overnight. Weeks are more like it, and months for a few. One should never despair. Nor should one feel so desperate that one grasps at straws. And there are many offering straws, many who would gird your loins, empty your pockets, push pull and poke you, offer you potions and pills, and attempt to excise the evil.

I am going to purchase this book.

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