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Is It Normal to Develop Back Pain as You Age?

Back pain is extremely common, especially as you get older. It’s estimated that 80% of American adults will experience lower back pain at some point during their lives. It’s also the most common cause of disability. In some cases, the pain even becomes chronic.

Back pain does increase in incidence with age and can begin as early as your 30s. It’s on the rise, too, which some experts say is caused by lifestyle habits, including spending so much time sitting. While some back pain is normal as you get older, some of it is also preventable. Here, the pain management specialists at Glaser Pain Relief Center explain more about the connection between aging and back pain.

The effects of normal aging

As you age, the cushions between your vertebrae in your spine tend to wear away and become thinner, which can lead to degenerative disc disease. This may cause the vertebrae to rub against each other, which can be very painful.

Arthritis is another common cause of back pain, especially as you get older. In some cases, arthritis may have a genetic component as well.

Back injuries can also cause back pain at any age, especially if you play a sport or if you’re trying to do something that requires more strength than you have.

Some back pain is preventable

A lot of cases of back pain are caused by lifestyle habits. Many people have sedentary jobs that require them to sit at a desk all day. Your body wasn’t designed to spend so much time sitting, and lower back pain is often the result.

While you may feel like resting as much as possible when you injure your back, this can often make your back pain worse. The better decision is to learn how to move safely through your back pain, which the doctors at Glaser Pain Relief Center can show you how to do.

Remaining active, stretching and strengthening, and eating a nourishing, healthy diet also limits your risk of developing back pain. 

Treatments for back pain

Making an appointment at Glaser Pain Relief Center is the first thing you should do if you’re experiencing back pain. You need a medical evaluation to determine the causes of your pain so you receive appropriate treatment. This medical evaluation may include imaging, such as X-rays or a CT scan.

In many cases, back pain resolves itself within about six weeks on its own, but you may be helped by a combination of physical therapy, medication, and possibly epidural steroid injections. But if your back pain is caused by lifestyle habits, it’s likely to return.

Physical therapy techniques to strengthen your back and core muscles can help to prevent a recurrence of back pain. If you’re overweight, losing some weight may also help you avoid back pain, as being overweight puts more stress and strain on your joints.

If your back pain persists beyond six weeks or doesn’t go away on its own, we can develop an effective treatment plan customized to your individual circumstances. It may include lifestyle and activity modifications, physical therapy, nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures, or surgery when necessary.

If you have back pain and it’s interfering with your ability to live your life, visit the physicians at Glaser Pain Relief Center. Contact us by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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