- In some, it may occur at a younger age and can make them prone to back pain, especially if they overdo activities.
As we age, our spines age with us. Aging causes degenerative changes in the spine. These changes can start in 40’s or above.
In some, it may occur at a younger age and can make them prone to back pain, especially if they overdo activities.
In females, degenerative changes occur earlier than in males. One of the most common causes of lower back pain is from over-activity. Muscles and ligament fibres can be overstretched or injured.
Some people get lower back pain which arises from the disc [the spongy cushions that separate the block-like bones (vertebrae) of the spine], due to small tears in the outer part of it.
This does not mean that all people who have disc tear have lower back pain. It’s also important to note that the pain may last for few weeks, months or even longer.
A small number of people may develop constant pain that lasts for years and is quite disabling. As to why some people have pain and others do not is not well understood.
Also, a disc may herniate and bulge out the spinal cord and this may compress or irritate the nearby nerves hence causing pain on the back and to the regions where the nerve extends (leg and foot).
This type of pain is described as ‘sciatica’ in the medical language. Majority of the individuals get disc herniation during lifting, pulling, bending or twisting movements.
During adolescence, more than 75 per cent of the disc content is water. As we age, the water content decreases and disc begins to wear and tear, causing disc degeneration (aging).
Pain may vary
If you haven’t started experiencing the lower back pain, bear in mind that almost everyone will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However, lower back pain can make everyday activities difficult to execute.
There are many causes of back pain as aforementioned in the article, which may arise from the spine itself but others may be due to nearby structures or organs.
For the purpose of easy understanding, we are going to focus on causes of lower back pain, which results from the spine and spinal cord.
What is the make up of the lower spine and spinal cord?
Spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and intervertebral discs are additional parts of your spine.
Whether age or other causes, no matter what you think that caused your lower back pain, if it doesn’t get better within a few weeks, or is associated with fever, chills, or significant weight loss, then you need to see a doctor immediately.
It may not be possible to prevent lower back pain. We cannot avoid the normal wear and tear on our spines that goes along with aging.
But there are things we can do to lessen the impact of lower back pain problems. Having a healthy lifestyle is a good start.
• Exercise: Combine aerobic exercise, like walking or swimming, with specific exercises to keep the muscles in your back and abdomen strong and flexible.
• Proper lifting: Be sure to lift heavy items with your legs, not your back. Do not bend over to pick something up. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees.
• Weight: Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts added stress on your lower back.
• Proper posture: Good posture is important to avoid future problems. A therapist can teach you how to safely stand, sit and lift.