Anyone can develop back pain, especially from traumatic events like car accidents and personal injuries. In fact, back pain is the leading cause of disability in people under 45. Unfortunately, the aging process can definitely play a role, too. That’s because, whether we like it or not, our spines undergo several age-related changes with each passing year. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a future filled with back pain.
At The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre in The Woodlands, Texas, our team offers a variety of gentle and effective treatments for back issues, including conditions like herniated discs and sciatica. We understand what causes age-related back pain and can help you reduce your chances of developing this type of discomfort.
Why aging can be a pain in your back
You can develop either acute or chronic back pain as you age. Having acute pain usually means your symptoms last for a short period of time, typically 4-6 weeks, and resolve with treatment. If you have chronic back pain, it’s often persistent, lasts longer than six months, and may be treatment-resistant.
As you age, back pain becomes more common because important spinal structures start breaking down. One change involves your bones, which can lose strength and mass due to previous injuries, osteoporosis, or your lifestyle. You can even have bone changes that cause a condition commonly known as spinal stenosis, or narrowing in your spinal canal.
It’s also common for aging men and women to develop a progressive degenerative disc disease that impacts the shock-absorbing discs sitting between the spinal vertebrae. With time (or due to trauma), these discs can break down, forcing the soft disc center to bulge through the hard exterior. When this occurs, the disc center — or nucleus — can push on nearby nerves, triggering radiating pain, tingling, or numbness. This back problem, known as a herniated disc, can lead to debilitating pain and reduced range of motion in your back.
Other common conditions causing age-related back pain include:
- Nerve compression
These age-related back problems can develop gradually and worsen without proper care.
Keeping your back healthy as you age
Our team understands how age-related changes in your back can impact your quality of life. That’s why he provides noninvasive, natural solutions for existing back pain, including manual chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression therapies that ease pain and strengthen your back. We also offer tips for reducing your risks of chronic back pain as you get older, such as:
Moving your body
Having a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your chances of developing chronic back pain as you age. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, even if it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
Getting regular activity keeps your blood pumping and keeps your back muscles strong and healthy so they can support your entire spine.
Using proper technique
When you move or lift heavy objects, it’s essential to use safe lifting techniques to prevent muscle tears and spine trauma, such as lifting from your knees, not your back.
We can also provide you with the tools you need to help protect your back when performing other strenuous activities.
Watching what you eat
Following a healthy and nutritious diet is always important, but it’s critical to providing the energy you need to function, especially as you age.
A good diet can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, which takes the unnecessary strain off your back and preserves your spine health.
Getting physical therapy
You can be proactive about your general wellness and protect your back by scheduling regular physical therapy appointments. We can outline a treatment plan designed to meet your existing health needs and focuses on preventing major age-related complications, especially those that impact your back and musculoskeletal system.
Don’t wait to get started on the path to a healthier, stronger back. Call The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre today or request a consultation online now.