December 1, 2019,

Is Back Pain Normal as You Age?

Whether you wake up with a stiff, sore back that subsides as you get moving or you have more constant and chronic discomfort, back pain can disrupt your life and get in the way of work and social activities. If you live in or near Roanoke, Virginia, or Denver, Colorado, our team of integrative medicine experts can help reduce your back pain and restore your quality of life.

Is back pain normal as you age?

The answer to this question is debatable. Around 80% of American adults experience back pain at some point during their lives, which might make you think that back pain is inevitable. And as you age, your muscles and connective tissue become drier and more vulnerable to injury, which increases your risk of back pain.

But we would argue that back pain doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. Here at Balance Wellspace, we focus on providing integrative health care to optimize your health and reduce your risk of injuries, degenerative conditions, and illnesses that can negatively affect your health and quality of life.

Common causes of back pain and risk factors

Many conditions contribute to back pain. Some of the most common root causes of back pain include:

  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Herniated discs
  • Slipped vertebra
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Compression fractures

Back pain also has a wide range of risk factors. As we mentioned above, your muscles and connective tissue become more vulnerable to injury as you age. And if you’re overweight, don’t get much physical activity, or smoke, your risk of back pain increases.

If you have a physically demanding job or don’t use the correct lifting technique, you also increase your risk of a painful back injury. Other health conditions, such as arthritis, cancer, depression, and anxiety, can also contribute to your chances of experiencing back pain.

If you notice, many of the risk factors for back pain are under your control. That means that you can make changes now to prevent back pain in the future.

Preventing back pain

Here at Balance Wellspace, our goal is to help you optimize your health. Adjusting your diet and exercise habits is a critical part of most wellness plans. Not only does optimizing your nutrition and fitness help keep your body functional and strong, but it also helps you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

Over 71% of Americans are overweight or obese, which contributes to back pain as well as other health problems. Taking a natural approach to optimizing your health provides a wide range of benefits, including reducing your risk of back pain.

You can also protect your back by sitting and standing with correct posture. Slouching at your desk or on your couch at home can contribute to back pain or make it worse. You might find that practicing yoga or Pilates improves your core strength and helps you maintain good posture.

When to talk to a doctor about back pain

Sometimes despite your best efforts, something happens to trigger back pain. You know your body best, so if you’re concerned about back pain, call us at Balance Wellspace to schedule an appointment or use our online scheduling tool.

In many cases, muscle tightness or mild injuries start to subside within a couple of days of at-home rest, over-the-counter pain medicine, and ice. If this isn’t the case with your situation or if you have a fever, apparent deformity, or shooting pain and tingling in your legs, contact us in Denver or Roanoke right away.

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