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Caring for a Relative with a Back Injury

Whilst it’s commendable that you’re caring for a relative with a back injury, bear in mind that incorrect care can do more harm than good and therefore, that although you might be doing your best to take care of your mother or father, you might actually be doing them more harm than good.

A person caring for a patient

Therefore, what you’re recommended to do if you’re looking after someone with an injured back, is familiarise yourself with information on the subject – from more than one source – and follow the advice of their doctor or specialist, like a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

There are other ways in which you can help them recover from a back injury, including massage – ensure you know exactly what you’re doing though – hot packs – which are great for breaking down build-up of dead tissue – and simply helping them around the house so that they don’t hurt themselves, for example, hanging out the washing, taking care of the garden, helping them with the shopping, etc.

Here are a few tips to help you care for a relative with a back injury.

  • Apply ice to the affected area for the first 48 to 72 hours only. After that, use heat. This could include hot packs (a cloth pack with rice or uncooked beans, legumes, etc. heated in the microwave), hot towels, Tiger Balm, etc.
  • When their back pain becomes uncomfortable have them take an over-the-counter painkiller. Ibuprofen (Neurofen, etc.) or acetaminophen is the most suitable for injuries like these.
  • Ensure they avoid heavy lifting and other activities that could put a strain on their back. If your relative is very ‘independent’ this often means keeping an eye on them.
  • Go for a light walk with them and provide them with support when required. Walking is good for their injury – this depends on the severity – and their general health and wellbeing. This is important as many people’s health, particularly the elderly, declines due to inactivity after suffering an injury.
  • Drive them to their medical appointments so they don’t have to rely upon public transport. Just getting on the bus awkwardly can undo the repair of a week or two’s rest and physiotherapy.
  • Ensure that they rest but not too much. Rest is excellent as it provides the muscles with time to heal but too much rest will only make matters worse and commonly results in stiffness and in some cases, spasms and sharp pains.

Massage

There are many massage techniques that can be used to help alleviate the pain of a back injury, plus massage is also excellent for reducing stiffness and improving circulation and blood flow, all of which are beneficial for someone who’s suffered an injured back.

However, incorrect massage techniques can have just the opposite effect, i.e. a negative effect, so it’s for this reason that you’re advised to enrol in massage courses in Adelaide in order to further your understanding of massage, how massage should be used to treat injuries like back injuries and the massage sequence system required.

If you’re to learn how to assist your relative with a back injury you’ll need to start off with a general massage course before enrolling in a more advanced course used to treat specific injuries, something along the lines of a deep tissue and sports injury massage course.

Bear in mind that although you might wish to use massage to assist your relative with their back injury now, it takes time to complete the required courses. However, the skills you’re learning are skills that are going to serve you well now and well into the future.

 

About the Author:
A privately-owned massage college that has trained thousands of professional graduates, Discover Massage is a leading institution that offers a number of massage courses in Adelaide.

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