A whopping 80% of the population struggles with pain in their lower backs at some point in their lives. When you were younger, these bouts with back pain were often short-lived, and you bounced back to great health in short order. As you get older, however, your body may not have the resources necessary to fight off age-related back pain because of the years of wear and tear.
Far from throwing in the towel and accepting back pain as part and parcel of aging, our team here at One Accord Physical Therapy offers effective tools that allow you to regain pain-free mobility so you can enjoy a happy and active life long into the future.
Here’s a look at why you may be experiencing back pain as you grow older and what we can do about it.
Behind the back pain
In order to better understand why back pain tends to crop up more frequently the older you get, it’s helpful to take a look at the internal structures in your back and what happens to them as you age.
At the core of your back is your spine, which is made up of 33 vertebrae and 23 discs. Surrounding your spine are a host of support players, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, that all come together to support your spine in its enormous role as the foundational support for your entire musculoskeletal system.
As your back labors day in and day out to provide you with support, mobility, and range of motion, your support systems can begin to succumb to the wear and tear. Leading the pack in this regard are degenerative conditions, such as:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Compression fractures due to osteoporosis
- Spondylolisthesis (a vertebra slips forward)
Because your spine also provides passage for your nervous system, any compression along your spine can irritate or compress the highly sensitive nerve roots in the area, leading to back pain.
Ultimately, and to answer the question posed in the title, age can lead to an increasing incidence of back pain, but we certainly don’t consider any pain normal.
Fighting back against back pain
At our practice, we take a holistic approach to back pain with the goal of providing you with sustainable results. Our first step is to thoroughly assess your back pain so that we can pinpoint the cause. All too often, back pain is treated symptomatically, without doing the real work of solving the problem. Once we identify the problem, we recommend a treatment plan that provides you with immediate relief, as well as long-term results.
Typically, we take a multi-pronged approach to your back pain that involves one or more of the following physical therapy techniques:
- Joint mobilization
- Muscle energy techniques
- Spinal manipulation techniques
- Dry needling
- Prescriptive exercises
- Therapeutic exercises
- Massage therapy
By strengthening your back’s support network, we help spread out the workload more evenly, providing assistance to areas that have degenerated over the years. We also ensure, through alignment and muscle release, that spasms and blockages don’t hamper the free flow of resources to your back, which help in healing and inflammation reduction.
Each of our treatment programs is tailored to your unique situation, and we work with you from start to finish — and by finish we mean that you can enjoy a life free from back pain.
To get started on treating your age-related back pain, please contact one of our offices in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Casa Grande, Mesa, or Gilbert, Arizona.