The way some people talk about it, you might think back pain is one of the basic parts of getting older, the same as wrinkles and gray hairs. Is back pain a normal part of aging? Yes and no – while many people experience more back pain as they start to get older, there's a lot you can do to keep your back strong and pain-free in your silver – and golden – years.
At South Texas Spinal Clinic, our talented team serves patients dealing with back pain in and around the San Antonio and South Texas area from 11 convenient locations. Here's what we think you need to know about back pain, aging, and how to keep your spine straight and strong for an entire lifetime.
Spine and back wear and tear
Over the years, the many delicate parts of your spinal column can begin to deteriorate. Your spine supports your entire body mass, a lot of pressure to put on your vertebrae and spinal discs.
Spinal discs, the gel-like cushions that protect your bones and nerves, can start to break down, leading to chronic pain. As you age, you might also find yourself dealing with conditions like arthritis of the spine that result in chronic pain.
Your back also contains a lot of large muscles, any of which can become damaged or strained over time. If you're dealing with muscle weakness or strain in your back, you may experience persistent or ongoing back pain. Injuries and previous strains can cause ongoing weaknesses or recurrent back pain.
Normal, but not inevitable
Because of all of the elements in your back, some back pain as you age isn't outside the normal range of expectations. Still, if you take active steps to protect and strengthen your back, you can mitigate the amount of back pain you experience as you get older. Some things you can do to support your back include:
- Keeping your weight down, since every pound of added weight increases spinal and muscular stresses
- Getting regular exercise or using a targeted strengthening regimen to keep your muscles strong and your joints flexible
- Watching out for slouching, slumping, and bad posture when sitting or standing
- Taking care while lifting, especially heavier weights
If you've experienced an injury or other persistent pain problem, you might need other support, potentially including medications or surgery. At South Texas Spinal Clinic, we can help you evaluate your options. It's never too early to start considering how to keep your back strong through your later years. To schedule a consultation appointment with a member of our care team at one of our 11 San Antonio and South Texas offices, call or use the online booking tool.