Pain will appear in all parts of your body as you age, especially if you don’t take good care of it. The parts of our bodies that cause the most trouble when we get older are the shoulders and upper back. Luckily there are various treatments that can help us get rid of the pain or at least lower its intensity.
What Causes Shoulder and Upper Back Pain?
The reasons that cause this pain are many. Among those that we encounter most often are rotator cuff tears or tendinopathy, arthritis, and adhesive capsulitis. The last one is better known as frozen shoulder. All of this, separately or combined, can cause severe pain in older adults. One of the trickiest injuries among those that we named above is the rotator cuff injury, which causes pain when we try to raise our arm. This injury sidelined Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck for more than two years. Unlike Luck, who earned his injury on the field, this trauma hits the elderly mostly because of arthritis, which is known as a degenerative condition.
What Is Your Rotator Cuff?
Obviously, the rotator cuff is a part of your shoulder mechanism. Most people spend their lives unaware of it and its importance for our bodies. The rotator cuff does a lot for our arms. Because of it, you can play tennis or football and do simple things such as brushing your teeth. Furthermore, it protects the shoulder joint, and it’s the reason you can lift your hands over your head. The rotator cuff consists of both tendons and muscles. It also protects the head of your upper arm bone, which is located in the shoulder socket. If you hurt your rotator cuff, either by injury or from arthritis, it will be difficult for you to lift your arms, and the pain will be felt in your shoulder and upper back.
Back Exercises for the Elderly
But for those who won’t allow shoulder and upper back pain to continue, there are exercises that can help you strengthen your back and relieve some of the pain. But the first thing you should do after sensing the pain in these areas is to pay a visit to your doctor. A doctor will be able to determine the seriousness of your injury or pain.
The doctor will also be able to decide whether you can handle your pain by exercising at home or if you are in need of physical therapy. In some cases, both will be necessary if you want to overcome your pain entirely.
The most important part of exercising your rotator cuff is to warm up properly. The warmup consists of low-impact exercises such as walking in place. Usually this lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. After that, you should move on to stretching. The activities need to be light as long as you feel pain in your rotator cuff. When the pain is almost gone, you can work a bit harder, but never overwork yourself. If the pain continues, you should revisit your doctor. In this case, you will want to have a new set of instructions on how to handle your pain issue.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but both aches and pains are a part of getting older. Back pain awaits almost all older adults, but they don’t have to live with it. After consulting your doctor, you will know what measures need to be taken in order to get rid of the pain. Luckily in most cases, physical treatments and exercise can help. If the right plan is adopted, you will be able to get back to your healthy life in no time after suffering from shoulder or upper back pain.
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