If you’re lucky, you’ve gotten wiser as you’ve grown older. But with those years can come some unpleasant side effects, namely aches and pains that can seemingly come out of nowhere. But you don’t have to accept back pain as a normal part of aging? Christopher Clark, MD, at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine can diagnose your age-related back pain and help you live an active, pain-free life.
What is age-related back pain?
In order to understand back pain, you’ve got to know a little about back anatomy. Your back consists of muscles, ligaments, skin, and bones that work together to support your body. Your back also contains your spinal cord, which acts as a central hub for your body’s nerve system.
This nerve hub is protected by 24 bones that encase and protect it. Each bone or vertebra is separated by a disc that is filled with a jelly-like substance. These discs absorb impact and keep your vertebrae from rubbing against each other.
As you age, the structure of your back can change. Discs and joints can lose resilience and absorb less shock. Thickening ligaments and arthritic joints can narrow the canal that surrounds your spinal cord, which can create a condition called spinal stenosis. And vertebra can slip forward and press on nerves, principally the sciatic nerve, which can result in sciatica.
These changes can cause inflammation and pressure that results in back pain.
Who’s at risk for age-related back pain?
Age is the biggest risk factor in developing age-related back pain. If you’re age 45 or older, you have a higher chance of suffering from chronic back pain. Other risk factors include:
- Excess weight
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- Activities or jobs that require twisting or heavy lifting
Here’s what you can do about age-related back pain
Dr. Clark offers several treatments that can reduce or eliminate back pain. They include:
- Nerve blocks
- Facet joint injections
- Exercise therapy
- Spinal manipulation
- Platelet-rich plasma or stem cell injections
Dr. Clark will work with you to manage back and sciatica pain without using narcotic pain medicines, which can cause addiction and other problems, such as constipation.
You don’t have to live with back pain. To get help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine and Sports Medicine today.