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5 Spine Injuries That Are Common in the Elderly

Back problems in the elderly are not uncommon. Spinal problems occur as a result of several degenerative processes. Injury or congenital defects may also cause problems. Proper diagnosis and treatment helps alleviate the discomfort and prevent further injury. However, the risk of many spine injuries can be reduced with a healthy diet and exercise. As a leading provider of home care, Georgetown Home Care Assistance believes it is important for seniors and their families to be aware of the risks of possible spinal injuries. Here are 5 of the most common spine injuries among the elderly population.

1. Osteoporosis

This condition involves porous, weakened bones that are prone to fracturing easily. When vertebrae break, delicate nerve tissues endure undue stress and possible damage. Dietary changes, exercise, medications and physical therapy are all possible interventions. In severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary.

2. Compression Fractures

Obesity and osteoporosis are two of the main causes of compression fractures. However, this condition might also occur as a result of any activity that puts undue force on the spine. The bones crack or completely fracture depending on the amount of force applied. Treatment varies with the severity of the condition and may include pain management, a back brace, hydrotherapy, and muscle conditioning.

3. Osteoarthritis

When this condition develops in the spine, bone spurs form, which leads to varying degrees of discomfort and possible numbness in the extremities. Treatment depends on the location of the problem and may include pain management, physical therapy, or corrective surgery.

4. Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis refers to vertebrae that slip out of alignment. This condition occurs secondary to normal degeneration, congenital problems, or injury. When a vertebra slips, it pinches nerves, which causes pain. Treatment commonly involves physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that hold the spine in place.

5. Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis refers to a narrowing in the spinal canal. This condition commonly develops during degenerative processes that cause debris to fall into and build up in the central canal. However, an injury or congenital condition may also be underlying causes. Pain management, physical therapy, and corrective surgery are possible treatment options.

Regular exercise can help seniors build stronger muscles and bones, which can prevent spinal injuries. If your aging loved one needs help managing a regular exercise routine, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to assisting with exercise and other everyday tasks, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia care Georgetown seniors can rely on. For more information on our elder care services, please call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (843) 353-3105 today.