You may be expecting the gray hair and wrinkles that come with aging, but you may not be aware of the potential aches and pains that occur too, like back pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, many people experience their first instance of low back pain between the ages of 30 and 50, and the pain becomes more common as you get older.
While your risk of back pain may increase with aging, don’t assume it’s inevitable, or even normal. At Neuropathy Treatment of Texas, we specialize in the treatment of back pain and the effects it has on your overall physical and emotional health. We want to share with you why your risk of back pain increases as you get older, and what you can do to prevent the common pain condition.
Aging and your back
Wrinkles are a common sign of the aging process — and one you can clearly see. But what you may not know is that those wrinkles develop due to physical changes that occur in your skin. These changes affect the strength, support, and elasticity in your skin and lead to sagging, lines, and creases.
Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that changes with age. The components that make up your back, specifically your spine, degenerate with age, which causes structural conditions that may lead to pain.
The most common causes of back pain as you age include:
Degenerative disc disease
All of the vertebrae in your spine are separated by gel-like cushions called discs. These discs allow movement of your spine and back and absorb stress when you walk or run.
As you get older, your discs start to dry out, which makes them less resistant to damage. Any slight twist or miscalculated lift may cause you to develop a herniated disc, which occurs when the gel-like inside of the disc pushes through the tough exterior. Depending on the severity and placement of a herniated disc, pain may range from a dull ache to severe radiating sensations that travel to your feet or hands.
Loss of moisture in your discs not only makes them more vulnerable to herniation, but also causes loss of height in between each of your vertebrae. This creates a narrowing of your spinal column, which presses on your spinal canal and nerves causing pain. This aging condition is known as spinal stenosis.
Arthritis is a general medical term that describes inflammation in the joint and can affect any joint in your body, including the joints that make up your spine. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and develops when the cartilage in between your bones wears away, allowing for bone-on-bone contact and pain.
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone condition also associated with aging that causes the bones to weaken and grow more susceptible to fractures. If you have osteoporosis, you’re at risk of developing vertebral fractures that may lead to back pain.
Preventing back pain
You may not be able to stop all the changes that occur in your body as you get older. But back pain doesn’t have to be a normal part of your golden years. At Neuropathy Treatment of Texas, we recommend you make a few lifestyle changes to help slow down the degeneration that occurs in your spine, such as:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Learning proper lifting techniques
- Maintaining good posture while sitting and standing
- Quitting smoking
If you’re overweight or obese, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce the aches and pains associated with aging. Excess body weight places even more stress on your joints, cartilage, and discs, which may cause them to degenerate even faster.
Finding lasting relief for back pain
Back pain doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. But you’re not alone if you’re suffering from the common pain condition. Back pain affects 8 of 10 people in the United States at some point in their life. You don’t have to simply accept the pain as a normal part of your aging process.
At Neuropathy Treatment of Texas, we utilize the most advanced tool in pain technology to help you get lasting relief without any side effects with our neo-GEN series®, which is an electric cell signaling system that supports nerve regeneration, improves blood circulation, and reduces muscle spasms. We use this advanced pain tool for both acute and chronic back pain.
Aging increases your risk of many health issues, including back pain, but it’s not inevitable. For lasting relief from your back pain, call us at Neuropathy Treatment of Texas, send us a message here on our website, or request an appointment online today.