While many cases of back pain are related to medical conditions, it’s also true that a large number of people will develop a problem with their back as they get older. Most people experience back pain at some point in their lives, with some cases clearing up over time and others continuing or becoming more severe.
Whether you’d like to learn more facts and information on physical therapy options before scheduling a session or you would like to find temporary solutions, there are many different ways you can go about managing your back pain as you get older.
Above all, becoming more comfortable will stop back pain from affecting your daily life and acting as a barrier to experiences and a more active lifestyle. Read on for more information about what causes back pain and to learn some easy ways to manage back pain and alleviate your discomfort.
Why Does Back Pain Happen?
Back pain can be the result of a wide variety of underlying causes, but most have to do with the spine. Your spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae, which are connected by facets and cushioned by discs. An issue in any one of these three areas can cause significant symptoms and leave you in chronic pain. These are some of the most common causes of back pain:
- Degeneration of joints and discs: General degeneration becomes more common as we age, with 80% of people above 80 years old being diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (DDD). Lower levels of resilience and moisture increase pressure on the spine and lead to back pain.
- Spondylolisthesis: This condition occurs when one of your vertebra is dislodged, causing pain at the point at which it hits the bone below it.
- Spinal stenosis: Like DDD, the risk of spinal stenosis increases with age. Several conditions, including thickening of the ligaments, degeneration of discs, or arthritis in the facet joints, can cause spinal stenosis by narrowing the space through which your spinal cord passes.
How Can I Treat Back Pain?
The right treatment for any given case of back pain depends on several factors, such as your age, the cause of the pain, and the presence of other medical conditions. There are some easy ways to manage back pain, even if your pain is consistent or becoming more severe. Consider pursuing one of these options:
- Get more active:
A healthy, active lifestyle is critical to all aspects of physical and mental health, and back pain is no exception. Keeping your body in shape and getting regular exercise will often be enough to solve mild to moderate cases of back pain. Try taking a yoga class or engaging in low impact, moderate intensity exercise.
- Use an ice pack:
This simple home remedy can’t fix serious conditions, but it can have surprising effects on inflammation as well as pain. Muscle spasms and worsening inflammation can be countered by putting an ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes. If that isn’t enough, wait another 20 minutes before putting it back.
- Pursue physical therapy:
- Try natural supplements:
Adding natural supplements to your diet is a great way to reduce the pain and inflammation often associated with back aches. Turmeric, with its active ingredient “curcumin”, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore a great addition to your back pain maintenance. A supplement like Tranquility Labs’ Turmeric Curcumin 1000 combines both raw turmeric powder with pure, concentrated curcumin and can be an effective solution to tackling inflammation.
Back pain becomes more common as we age, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. Many cases can be effectively resolved using these easy ways to manage back pain, but don’t hesitate to contact a medical professional if your symptoms worsen or don’t go away on their own.