Most people experience back pain at some stage of their lives. The possible causes of the pain include being overweight, poor eating habits, poor posture, health conditions like cancer, smoking, and spinal disease. One of the causes of back pain that is often overlooked and disregarded is aging.
Aging and Back Pain
The spine is made up of bones known as vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are joints that allow your spine to flex and move and there are disks that function as shock absorbers. As a person ages, the disks start wearing away and tend to shrink, causing the vertebrae to rub against each other. This cause pain as well as back stiffness.
Aging also causes the space around the spinal cord to narrow. As a result, the spinal cord exerts pressure on the surrounding nerves, resulting in pain. This condition is medically known as spinal stenosis.
Disk degeneration and spinal stenosis are common problems that become apparent with aging. This can result in constant pain in the back and wreak havoc with day-to-day activities.
Obtaining Relief from Back Pain
If you have back pain due to aging, there are a few treatment options that can come in handy. The course of treatment is prescribed based on the cause of the pain.
ü Painkillers: Sometimes doctors can prescribe painkillers, such as NSAIDs, acetaminophen, oral or injectable steroids and narcotics like morphine. The medication is prescribed based on the intensity of the pain.
ü Chiropractic Care: One of the most effective ways to combat age-related back pain is chiropractic manipulation. This non-invasive treatment uses spinal manipulation and alignment to offer pain relief and encourage the body to heal itself. The realignment of the spine eases the pressure exerted on the nerves, thus helping to reduce pain.
ü Physical Therapy: A physical therapist will guide you to certain active therapies, such as stretching, aerobics and weight lifting, to strengthen your back and spine and alleviate the pain. At times, passive therapy like massage, electrical stimulation, heat and ice, may be recommended.
ü Surgery: At times, the doctor may recommend a disk replacement surgery if the disk degeneration is severe or spinal fusion surgery to restrict the motion between the vertebrae as a way to alleviate pain.
The key to getting rid of the back pain due to aging is to first get it diagnosed and then get the treatment that is right for you. If you don’t have health conditions and the pain is due to general wear and tear of the spine, chiropractic care is one of the best options. Remember back pain due to aging is treatable and you don’t have to live with it.