Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

Back pain is the second most frequent reason Americans visit their doctors. Back pain is common because there are so many moving parts in the back. With the abundance of parts comes a higher potential for overuse and injury as you age.

Victor E. Mendoza, MD, at Vulcan Pain Management in Birmingham, Alabama, is an expert in treating lower back pain and lower back disorders. Whether you’re ready to explore nonsurgical pain management or other treatments, Dr. Mendoza can help.

About the back

Your spine is made of 24 bones that go from your tailbone to your skull, and it encases your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is made of 31 pairs of nerves that transmit signals to your brain. 

Your lower back is made of five vertebrae, which bear a lot of your body’s weight. In between your vertebrae are discs that act as shock absorbers, so your spine can move and be flexible.

Bands of ligaments hold your vertebrae in place, and the muscles of your back attach to your spinal column. As you can see, with all these moving parts, there’s more of a chance for something to go wrong as you age.

Reasons for back pain

There are a number of things that can cause lower back pain. Some are related to age, and some are not. Here are a few of them:

Osteoporosis

When we age, we naturally lose bone strength and density. This can lead to osteoporosis. 

Arthritis

The order we get, the cartilage between our spinal joints can begin to break down and lead to inflammation and friction.

Degeneration

As we age, we can lose fluid in our spinal discs. This can be painful, because the discs won’t be able to cushion the vertebrae as well.

Sprains, strains, and tears

Stretching or tearing ligaments in the back can happen at any age if you twist the wrong way or lift something too heavy.

Herniated disc

A ruptured or herniated disc occurs when a disc bulges out. This can happen at any age if a disc is compressed too much.

Overweight

Excess pounds can put a lot of pressure on your lower back, which can lead to pain and a loss of mobility. If weight is the cause, this can happen regardless of age.

It’s normal to feel some back pain as you get older. However, if you find yourself dealing with pain that prevents you from doing things you normally do, it may be something more serious. If you have back pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Vulcan Pain Management today.

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