Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

An incredible 80% of adults in the United States experience back pain at some point in their lives, and 20% of those who suffer acute pain go on to deal with ongoing problems. Reports suggest that the first experience with lower back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, but the pain becomes more common as people get older. 

At Comprehensive Pain Management, Drs. Do Chan and Boris Shwartzman and our team provide an extensive suite of services that tackle musculoskeletal pain of almost every kind, including backpain. We understand the many problems that can cause back pain and how age plays a key role.

So, to answer the question we pose in the title of this blog post about whether back pain is normal as you age, we know that it is, but we don’t feel that you should resign yourself to the pain.

Behind back pain

There are many conditions that can lead to age-related back pain, including:


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage in your joints begins to break down, which leads to pain and inflammation. You have hundreds of joints in your body, including in your lower back — namely your facet joints. These joints are located toward the back of your vertebrae, and they allow critical range of motion in your spine. When arthritis strikes these joints, it can cause pain that limits your ability to move around freely.

Degenerative disc disease

The 24 vertebrae that make up your flexible spine rely on 23 discs to separate and cushion them. These discs contain a jelly-like interior, which is surrounded by a tough exterior made up of strong collagen fibers. As you get older, your discs naturally lose moisture, which weakens their protective exteriors, leaving them vulnerable to herniation and bulging. 

Spinal stenosis

Another condition that can rear its ugly head as you get older is spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of your spinal column. This develops over years and often becomes noticeable when you get older as the narrowing begins to irritate the nerves along your spine.

Compression fractures

One of the biggest problems to face your musculoskeletal structure as you age (especially for women) is osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone density. As your vertebrae lose density, they can collapse, creating compression fractures.

There are many other conditions that can cause back pain as you grow older, like muscle strains, but the above list is the most likely culprits behind age-related back pain.

Fighting back against the pain

As we stated above, we don’t believe any pain should be normal, even inevitable age-related pain. To regain your quality of life in the face of back pain, we offer several innovative pain management techniques, including:

As you can see from this comprehensive list, we offer solutions for almost every type of back pain. No two people are alike, so we recommend a solution based on the cause of your pain and your lifestyle goals. We also believe that while we can help you find relief, you can do your part through strength training and stretching to keep back pain at bay, no matter your age.

For expert treatment of your back pain, contact one of our four offices in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, and South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island.

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