Is Back Pain Normal as You Age?

A few aches and pains now and then are normal as you age — for example, if you overdid it during a workout and your back is sore. However, chronic back pain — pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks without getting better — isn’t normal. Today’s modern chiropractic care at Access Chiropractic Center can help ease chronic back pain and improve your quality of life. 

Why do I have lower back pain?

Lower back pain affects the majority of adults at some point during their lives. When you’re young, it may result from a vehicle accident or a sports injury. However, it’s certainly more common as you age, because of normal wear and tear on your body. The following are some of the most common causes of lower back pain:

Herniated disc/Disc degeneration

You have spinal discs that lie between each vertebra; they each contain a gel-like substance. The discs allow you to bend and turn, and they act as shock absorbers when you run or walk. As you age, the discs aren’t as spongy as when you were younger. Due to injury or degeneration from arthritis, a disc can become brittle and leak its gel-like substance. When this occurs, you have what’s known as a herniated disc. The condition can cause severe back pain when the leaking or bulging disc disrupts nerve function. 


Arthritis is a common culprit associated with back pain. Your spinal cord contains your vertebrae, which are the small bones running down your back. Your vertebrae have a cushion of cartilage, an elastic-type tissue, between them so that they don’t rub against each other. The cartilage is composed of collagen and elastin, important proteins that keep it healthy. As you get older, though, your body naturally produces less of these proteins. Consequently, the cartilage becomes thinner, less elastic, and can wear down completely, creating ‘bone on bone’ pain. In addition, older discs tend to become brittle and create pressure on your spinal joints. 

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis develops if an area of your spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. Spinal stenosis causes back pain and/or numbness. 


Spondylolisthesis results from a vertebra that has slipped out of its normal position, sometimes moving over the bone below it. Adolescents active in gymnastics may develop this condition, but it can also result from the aging process. 


Scoliosis causes your spine to curve abnormally in an ‘s’ shape. It occurs most often during the growth spurt before puberty, but it can also occur in adults. Experts aren’t sure what causes most cases of adolescent scoliosis; arthritis may cause adult scoliosis. The condition causes lower back pain because the curved spinal cord compresses muscles in your back. 

Chiropractic care eases pain without drugs

You may be treating your back pain with over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers. However, they simply mask your symptoms but don’t treat the cause of your pain. Chiropractic care targets the cause and is drug-free. 

Access Chiropractic Center can help ease your discomfort from painful back conditions that have caused spinal misalignment. Dr. Muschik uses a variety of active and passive modalities to bring you back to health. 

Your discs may be abnormally compressed from ‘wear and tear’ degeneration or a leak, or the pain you’re experiencing could result from tight muscles jammed together from scoliosis. Your chiropractic care may involve spinal manipulation that re-opens the normal space between the discs. You lie on a table with your clothes on while Dr. Muschik realigns your spine, reducing inflammation and releasing tight muscles. 

Some other chiropractic techniques include disc decompression, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and massage. Once your severe pain improves, Dr. Muschik may prescribe physical therapy and gentle, targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons that help support your spinal cord.  

Call Access Chiropractic Center or request an appointment through our online portal for expert care. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean your back has to give you pain.

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