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.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Living with Fibromyalgia

If you’re dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms, it can sometimes seem like chronic pain, fatigue, and other problems control your life. The good news: Lifestyle changes can help. Here are nine simple tips to help you feel better.

5 Ways You're Making Your Back Pain Worse

Lots of problems can cause back pain, but did you know your habits could worsen your pain? It’s true. If you have back pain, kicking these five habits might help you feel better.

Facet-Joint Injections: What You Need to Know

Joint inflammation is a relatively common cause of chronic back pain, especially as we get older. Facet joint injections can provide much-needed relief without surgery or prolonged recovery time. Here’s how these injections work.

5 Causes of Chronic or Severe Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common complaint for both women and men. Why so common? Partly because a lot of factors can cause or contribute to those painful symptoms. If you have neck pain, here are five possible causes you should know about.

How to Manage Chronic Pain for Better Sleep

If your chronic pain keeps you up at night, you could be at risk for other health problems, like heart disease and stroke. Learning how to manage your pain is a critical part of improving your sleep. Here’s what to do.