Is Back Pain Inevitable as I Age?

Getting older has a lot of twists and turns that can be surprising and sometimes even painful. Many people develop aches and pains as they age because of underlying degenerative changes their bodies undergo with each birthday. Many of these changes occur in the spine, leading to varying intensities of persistent back pain.

At DMC Healthcare in Dallas, TX, Bryan Weddle, DC, treats a variety of back issues, including painful conditions like sciatica and herniated discs. While anyone can develop back pain from an unexpected fall or other personal injury, your age may also be playing a role.

However, just because you age doesn’t mean back pain is inevitable. Dr. Weddle offers some insight into why you may have age-related back pain and how you can reduce your risk factors for this type of pain.

Common causes of back pain

Acute back pain describes pain that lasts for a short period of time and resolves with treatment, usually within 4-6 weeks. Chronic back pain is typically persistent and lasts longer than six months.

As you age, the structures of your spine begin breaking down. Your bones may lose mass and strength due to your lifestyle, previous injuries, or osteoporosis. Bone changes can even cause narrowing in your spine, a condition commonly known as spinal stenosis.

Many people develop a progressive degenerative disc disease that affects the protective, shock-absorbing discs that sit between your spinal vertebrae. Over time or due to trauma, your discs can break down, forcing the soft disc center outward through the exterior. The center, or nucleus, of the disc can then press on nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in your back that also radiates down into your arms and legs.

This condition, known as a herniated disc, can lead to debilitating pain and limited range of motion in your back.

Other common causes of age-related back pain include:

All of these conditions can develop gradually over time and worsen without the proper care.

Tips for avoiding back pain as you age

As an experienced chiropractor, Dr. Weddle understands how the pain and mobility issues of age-related changes in the back can impact your quality of life. He offers comprehensive treatment services for existing back pain, including manual chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression therapies to strengthen your back and ease pain.

Just because you reach another birthday, doesn’t mean you have to experience back pain. Dr. Weddle can provide you with resources for reducing your risk factors for developing chronic back pain as you get older, such as:

Get up and move

Leading a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your risk for developing persistent back pain as you get older. Make a point to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, even if it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

This movement keeps your blood pumping and your back muscles healthy and strong to support your overall spine.

Be aware of your movements

If you frequently move or lift heavy objects as part of your job or a hobby, you need to ensure you’re using the proper lifting techniques to prevent muscle tears and trauma to your spine.

Dr. Weddle can provide you with guidance for protecting your back when lifting objects or engaging in other strenuous activities.

Eat for good health

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet is important for having the energy you need to function, especially as you get older.

A good diet is also important for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, which takes unnecessary pressure off your back and preserves your spine health.

Schedule regular chiropractic sessions

To stay proactive about your general wellness and the health of your back, you can schedule regular chiropractic care appointments at DMC Healthcare.

Dr. Weddle will outline a treatment plan that meets your existing health needs and focuses on preventing major age-related medical complications, especially those that affect your back and musculoskeletal system.

Get started on the road to a healthier, stronger back by calling DMC Healthcare today or by requesting a consultation online now. 

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