I’m Over 50 — Is Chronic Back Pain Normal?
It’s accepted that aging doesn’t do a body any favors. Your muscles get a little stiffer, your joints start getting creaky, and soreness tends to linger a little longer. It’s no wonder that many people accept aches and pains, such as chronic back pain, as a new normal once they reach age 50.
It’s true that you can never reclaim your youth, but don’t be fooled into thinking that your aching back can never feel better. While injuries or illnesses can lead to chronic back pain, other factors can prevent you from feeling your best.
Whatever the cause, it’s not normal to be in constant pain, and treatments are available to address the root of your pain and get you back to enjoying life. Here, we take a look at what can lead to back pain as you age.
Common causes of chronic back pain
What you eat, how often you exercise, and what you spend your time doing are major contributors to how you feel. Some common factors in everyday life can cause back pain or make it easier for you to injure your back as you get older. If you already have chronic back pain, adjusting your lifestyle or poor habits can lessen its severity.
Your body relies heavily on proper posture to prevent injuries. Slouching can put excessive strain on non-weight bearing joints, muscles, and discs. If you spend a lot of time sitting (either at work or at home), it’s important to maintain proper sitting posture to avoid pain and stiffness.
Lack of exercise
Muscles weakened by lack of exercise get tired more easily, which makes you more prone to injury. There are countless benefits to getting more exercise — regardless of your age — and making your muscles work. For example, strong core muscles are vital to helping you maintain good posture.
Poor lifting form
Your back muscles are meant to support your upper body, not lift extra weight. Never bend at the waist to pick something up, which asks too much of your back muscles. Always squat down, keeping your back straight, and use your legs to do the heavy lifting.
Your bones lose density as you get older. If you’re overweight, this puts added pressure on your bones. Maintaining an age-appropriate diet that includes components like omega-3, antioxidants, vitamin C, and calcium can help reduce the risk of back injury.
Age-related chronic back pain
Despite your best efforts, conditions that become more common with aging can lead to back pain. Some examples:
Herniated and degenerative discs
Spinal discs degrade over time and can lose strength, resulting in structural damage that pushes against your spinal canal or causing inflammation that pinches nerves.
Facet joints in your spine can wear down and become arthritic, causing pain and stiffness.
Often related to osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within your spine, resulting in radiculopathy — pinched or compressed nerves.
Do you have chronic back pain?
At SoCal Regenerative Medical Clinics in West Covina and Anaheim, California, we offer several treatments for chronic back pain, whatever the cause. Our physicians have over 60 years of combined experience treating back and joint pain and can help you ease your discomfort — no matter your age, lifestyle, or injury.
We offer a range of nonsurgical and nonsteroidal treatments that target the root cause of your pain. If you’re ready to feel better, call the office that’s convenient to you or request an appointment online.
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