Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

With each passing year, it may seem like your list of aches and pains continues to grow with no end in sight. Perhaps that old knee injury rears its ugly head or new problems develop as your joints succumb to years of wear-and-tear. 

The truth is that aging presents considerable physical challenges, and back pain is one of the chief complaints. While its development may be somewhat normal, we don’t believe that living with back pain should be part of your new normal.

At Pain Medicine Consultants, our experienced team of pain management specialists offers an extensive array of services that are designed to provide you with relief from the myriad musculoskeletal issues that can plague you from head to toe, especially as you get older. And this includes life-altering back pain.

Behind the pain

Age-related back pain is commonplace and typically stems from these conditions:

Arthritis

A common cause of back pain among older adults is due to osteoarthritis in the facet joints, which are located along the back of your spine. The arthritis causes the breakdown of your cartilage, which allows your bones to rub together, causing pain and inflammation.

Degenerative disc disease

Separating the 33 vertebrae in your spine are 23 discs, which provide critical cushioning and support. As you get older, the collagen fibers that make up the tough exteriors of these discs begin to lose natural moisture, leaving them thinner and more prone to herniation or bulging.

Spinal stenosis

Stenosis is a narrowing of your spinal canal, which develops over many years, usually making itself known as you get older. This is because the narrowing gets to the point where it irritates the highly sensitive nerve roots in the area.

Osteoporosis

This condition describes the natural loss of bone density as you get older, especially among women. With this loss, your vertebrae can collapse, creating compression fractures.

While there are other conditions that can lead to nagging back pain, these represent the majority of cases.

You do not have to live with back pain

As we mentioned above, age-related back pain is fairly normal, but we don’t believe it’s something you should live with. Aging presents enough challenges without adding debilitating back pain into the mix, which can have a serious impact on your quality of life. 

To fight back against the pain, we offer several effective therapies to help you regain pain-free movement, including:

Often, we use a combination of techniques to bring you both immediate and long-term results. For example, medications may provide you with immediate relief, but they’re designed to buy us valuable time to address the underlying cause of your back pain through physical therapy or regenerative medicine. 

By taking this multi-pronged approach to your back pain, our goal is to provide you with sustainable results that will get you back to an active life.

No pain is normal no matter your age, so please contact one of our four offices if you’re experiencing age-related back pain.

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