Is Back Pain Normal as You Age?

As we age, it gets easier and easier to believe that back pain is inevitable. Fortunately, this isn’t true and help is available.

Here at WolMed in Dallas and Denton, Texas, Drs. Ed Wolski and Robert Helsten along with our highly trained staff provide state-of-the-art care for work-related injuries as well as issues caused by car accidents and other personal mishaps. Our team consists of many specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and kinesiologists to ensure you get the help you need.

Back pain basics

Back pain is incredibly common, affecting about 8 in 10 people at some point in their lives. It’s the number one cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms may vary, but include muscle aches, stabbing or shooting pain, and pain that radiates down the leg. You may also experience less flexibility and a more restricted range of motion. Discomfort may decrease when reclining and get worse when standing, walking, bending or lifting.

Causes

With your back’s collection of bones, joints, discs, muscles, ligaments, it's no wonder it’s at risk of injury and pain. Muscle or ligament strains can occur when lifting heavy objects repeatedly or making sudden awkward movements. Pain can also occur when the cushiony disk between the spine's vertebrae bulges or ruptures. Osteoarthritis can cause discomfort, as can skeletal issues like scoliosis. People with osteoporosis may experience pain if their bones become brittle enough to suffer from compression fractures.

Diagnosis

Sometimes your back pain cause is easy to determine. Other times discomfort can begin without an obvious cause. Regardless of the instigating event, getting a proper diagnosis is the key to developing the most effective treatment plan. 

In addition to taking your medical history, we conduct a comprehensive back examination that typically includes different body movements as we rate your pain. We may also recommend diagnostic testing that could include X-rays, MRI or CT scans, and nerve studies to check for damage to muscles, tendons, discs, bones or ligaments, and nerves.

Treatment

While treatment will depend on the cause, it usually includes rest, hot and cold packs, and over-the-counter and prescription medication. If the pain does not go away, physical therapy, injections, and complementary medicine may be explored. Surgery is less common though also a possibility. 

Just because you're getting older doesn't mean you have to live with back pain. If you are tired of experiencing discomfort and want to reclaim your life, call us at  972-600-2304 (Dallas) or 469-249-1190 (Denton) to make an appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Remedy and Prevent Tech Neck

Texts, emails, tweets, and snaps put you in the know, but they also put you in danger. Bending your neck to peer at your peers for hours a day gives you tech neck — so much for progress. Here’s how to treat it and avoid it.