Is Back Pain Normal as You Age?

As if wrinkles, lines, and other inevitable physical changes that come with age weren’t enough, do you have to succumb to back pain, too? Absolutely not!

Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines of your favorite activities or have difficulty in everyday life. Here at Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine in Meridian, Idaho, we take a holistic approach to keeping your spine healthy and preventing back pain at every age. Through chiropractic care and other integrative medicine treatments, you can keep your spine strong as you age and reduce your chances of debilitating back pain. 

Take a minute to learn some of the most popular reasons you might experience back pain as you age, and what you can do about it. 

Why is back pain normal as you age?

Like everything else that happens to your body physically — wrinkles, grey hair, sagging skin — degenerative changes occur in your spine, too, and these changes can lead to back pain. But when you’re proactive and make the necessary lifestyle changes, your back pain doesn’t have to become chronic or debilitating. 

Some of the most common causes of back pain as you get older include:

Disc degeneration

Like your skin, the discs in your spinal column lose moisture as you age. When this happens, the discs shrink and provide less shock absorption between your vertebrae, often causing lower back pain and neck pain. 

Arthritis in your spine

Facet joints, where your vertebrae connect with each other, can deteriorate with age and develop arthritis that causes back pain.

Osteoporosis

Most common among women, osteoporosis is a loss of bone mass and bone density. This makes you more susceptible to injuries and vertebrae fractures as you age. 

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal canal as a result of disc degeneration, arthritis, and other age-related conditions. A narrow spinal canal puts pressure on your spinal cord nerves and leads to back pain. 

Bulging discs

Bulging discs are discs that push out of their place between vertebrae and put pressure on nerves. Discs often bulge before they rupture and become herniated.

Herniated discs

Herniated discs are discs that tear and allow their inner gel-like substance to leak out between your vertebrae. Herniated discs are often the cause of sciatica — a painful set of symptoms that results from pressure on the sciatic (L-5 or Lumbar-5) nerve that runs from your back down the side of your leg.

These conditions can cause occasional pain, or, left untreated, can become chronic and prevent you from sitting, standing, sleeping, or walking without pain. 

What you can do to prevent back pain as you age

You might not be able to prevent these age-related conditions from occurring completely, but you can help prevent them from progressing, causing severe pain, and becoming chronic. We recommend getting enough exercise and keeping your spine strong and flexible. Regular chiropractic adjustments and physical therapies can also help your back stay strong and relieve pressure on the nerves in your spinal column. 

It’s also beneficial to make necessary lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, improving your posture, and adopting a healthy nutritional plan. Avoid heavy lifting and other activities that can strain or sprain your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Additionally, quitting smoking can allow your spine to heal more easily after injury or from a degenerative condition. 

Our chiropractic team also offers spinal decompression therapy, corrective exercises, and physiotherapy — all noninvasive methods of helping you keep your spine healthy and alleviate back pain. 

Are you ready to get started on your customized treatment plan to prevent and treat back pain as you age? Give our friendly, knowledgeable team at Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine a call to schedule a consultation at 208-225-4358, or request an appointment online today.

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