According to the National Institute of Health, many people have their first significant back pain episode between the age of 30 and 40. You read that correctly: age-related back pain can strike as young as 30 years old! In fact, back pain is the leading cause of disability for American adults UNDER 45 years old. Statistics like this may convince you that your spine needs a little more tender love and care than you thought.
In the modern age, humans put many demands on our spine. Our spine protects our spinal cord and nerves. The shape of our spine allows us to walk upright and supports our head, shoulders, arms, and torso. Yet, many of us do not treat our spine with care. We spend hours sitting, hunched over a computer or at the wheel, in positions that put strain on the spine and allow important support muscles to weaken. Some of us do not maintain a healthy weight, putting additional stress on the spine, which supports half of the body weight. Others carry out repetitive movements, lift heavy objects, or lean over in awkward positions on a regular basis for work or home activities.
Back pain is the leading cause of disability for American adults under 45 years old
In many instances, age-related back pain is related to the intervertebral disks of the spine. The intervertebral disks are part of each of the joints between the vertebrae of the spine. With a tough, fibrous outer layer and a soft, gel-like inner layer, they provide shock absorption for the spine and body. They allow the spine to bend and twist as needed for normal every day motion. Over the years, with daily use (or abuse), these disks begin to break down, leading to such conditions as degenerative disk disease, bulging disk, annular tear, herniated disk, and extruded disk.
Treat your spine right. For ways to prevent back pain, and to treat it when it occurs, see this article on Back Pain.
If you already suffer from chronic or acute back pain (or any other type of pain for that matter), Louisiana Pain Specialists is here to help! Call us to schedule an appointment!