The Link between Aging and Back Pain

The Link between Aging and Back Pain

As we age, our spinal cord age with us, causing deteriorating changes in the spine. These changes often start in our 40’s or above. In some people, the changes may occur at a younger age making them prone to back pain, particularly when they overdo activities. This is the time when you find the need of investing in a quality back-support product that can aid you during back pain.

Scroll through the Obusforme Products list to find some popular back-support products like seat cushions, support belt, backrest support, etc.    

Discs and bones in our spine can degenerate over time, causing soreness and stiffness. Nearly all of us experience back pain at some point in our lives that can be caused due to spinal diseases, poor eating habits, smoking, being overweight, and health conditions including cancer. But the number one cause of back pain is considered to be ‘aging.’

A 2015 study published in the journal Menopause Review stated that women, in particular, experience an increase in the lower back pain with menopause and perimenopause.

In females, degenerative changes occur earlier than in males. Overdoing certain activities can result in overstretching or injuring the ligament and muscles.      

So what is causing the pain? Human spine consists of small individual bones called vertebrae that are arranged on top of the other. There are small joints between each vertebra that allows our spine to move. Moreover, there are jelly-like centers that pose as shock absorbers and prevent our bones from rubbing against each other.

With age, the discs between each vertebra tend to shrink and wear away causing immense pain and stiffness. This happens because our bones start to rub against each other. Additionally, as we age, the space around the spinal cord narrows down and is known as Spinal Stenosis. It can put pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, causing immense pain.

The Disc

The disc is the root cause of most back pain.

The disc is a spongy cushion that separates the vertebrae of the spinal cord. Pain in the lower back can arise from the disc due to small tears in its outer parts.

However, this does not mean that people with disc tear all suffer from immense lower back pain. But if the pain occurs, it may last for days, weeks, months, or even for prolonged periods.

Some individuals may experience endless pain that lasts for years and is somewhat disabling. As to why some people have back pain while others do not is not clearly understood.  

Experts say that the disc may bulge out and herniate the spinal cord resulting in compressing or irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause pain on the back and to the nearby regions like leg and foot where the nerve extends.

In medical terms, this type of pain is described as ‘sciatica.’ Most individuals get disc bulging during twisting, bending, pulling, or lifting movements.

During youth, the majority of the disc content is water and other liquid. Over time, as we age, the liquid content decreases and the disc begins to wear out, causing disc degeneration.

The Pain May Vary

It is important to note that almost everyone, at some point in their lives, will experience lower back pain. However, the pain can vary from person to person and his/her ability to tolerate it.

In general, the pain can be mild or strong, it can be long-lasting or short-lived. Overall, it can make your everyday activities like sitting, standing, and even sleeping, harder to execute.

As mentioned earlier, there are several causes of back pain, which may arise from the spine itself. However, others may be due to the nearby organs and structures.

Our spine is composed of several small bones called vertebra. Whether age or other causes, if the pain persists and doesn’t get better within a few days or weeks or is linked with significant weight loss, or fever or chills, then you need to see a physician immediately.

Sprains and Strains

In 75% of the cases, sprain and strain is the main reason to seek chiropractic treatment. Sprains and strains occur when the tendons, muscles, or ligaments are overstretched and become torn.    

Ruptured Disc

As said, herniated or ruptured disc is mainly caused in older adults and the most likely treatment option is considered to be surgery. However, with advanced treatment procedures like massage, over-the-counter medications, and physical therapy, one can overcome the pain.

Spinal Compression Fractures

This condition affects the aging population in numbers. It can be controlled and treated using massage and physiotherapy. Moreover, anti-inflammatory medications and epidural steroid injections can also lessen the pain.

Final Words

It is possible to prevent back pain from occurring in the first place. It is impossible to avoid the normal wear and tear on our spines but by changing our lifestyle, eating healthy, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help overcome the risk factors of lower back pain in the older adults.  

Categories: Health

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