by Dr. Jason Koh,

Authors contributing to the project

As people the age of people, back pain is more likely to impact more people and can affect their ability to live a full life.

The proportion of people suffering from back pain rises with age, impacting about 45 percent of people aged 65 or older, as per the National Center of Health Statistics.

Studies have indicated that the frequency of musculoskeletal discomfort in older adults is ranging from 65% to 85 percent, with 36 percent or 70% seniors suffer from back pain. Back pain caused by low back is the most prevalent health issue among older people which causes disabilities and pain as per research conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Jason Koh, doctor of Osteopathic medicine. (Photo by MemorialCare)

What is the cause of back discomfort?

A majority of people develop degenerative discs in their spine around the four-decade mark. While discs generally do not cause discomfort but a disc that bulges and presses on nerves can cause pain and discomfort to radiate across your leg. This is usually known as sciatica.

As the triage doctor at the MemorialCare Spine Health Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, I examine patients to identify what the source of their pain is and develop a treatment plan specifically for the condition.

Another common source of pain within the spinal column are facet joints. These are the synovial joints located on the back of your spine. As you age, the joints and the cartilage within begin to degrade. In the event of losing cartilage is a sign of aging, the body creates bone spurs near joints’ surfaces. This is often the cause of joints stiffness as well as pain as a result of the grinding of the bone on bone. Pain that is originating from the lumbar facet facets could be located in the buttocks, back and the back of the thigh , and the leg. This is referred to as facet-related pain.

Lumbar radiculopathy, also known as sciatica or sciatica, as it is generally referred to, is the pain of nerves that extends from the back towards the lower and buttocks. It usually occurs due to the compression of one or several of the spinal nerve roots that exit from the lumbar spinal spine.

The compression of the nerve root may be result of bulging discs or enlargement of facet joints, ligaments within the spine or any other lesions that occupy space that cause blood accumulations or tumors.

Although it may cause leg pain that is similar to facet refers pain source of pain for lumbar radiculopathy and facial referred pain are quite distinct.

What can I do to recover my back health?

There are some ways to ensure your back stays healthy and strong as you get older. Check out these tips:

  • Keep active: During the outbreak, a lot of us were sat at our computers or in front of the TV. Being sedentary can cause more injuries to back pain due to the weakening of muscles as well as the general deconditioning that takes place. It’s the reason why exercise is advised for people suffering from back pain. resting in bed isn’t.
  • Find the appropriate type of physical therapy: It is among the most effective ways that we can slow the progress of degenerative changes occur in the spine that is aging. We offer this in our Spine Health Center.
  • Utilizing proper body mechanics: Many people mistakenly utilize your back muscles in order to lean their backs forward and backward while reaching for objects or taking things from the floor. This puts unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine structure. It is better to put that strain to the gluteal or thigh muscles through bent at the hips, and squatting down using those legs in lifting items off the floor.

There are reasons to be concerned.

Be on the lookout for these problems:

  • If you’re experiencing extreme pain that radiates down the leg, this is reason to be concerned and may be a reason to visit your physician for a more thorough assessment.
  • If you are suffering from any of systemic symptoms , like chills or fever it is an indication about a spinal infections.
  • Issues with the control of bladder or bowels, urinary constipation that is severe or urinary retention could be reason to be concerned.
  • If you feel numbness in the area between the knees and the groin region, it could be a sign for back pain.

Attention to the back pain you experience is crucial. If you are experiencing any of these signs, it’s an ideal idea to be assessed by your doctor in particular if you’re suffering from neurologic signs such as weakness, numbness or sensations of tingling.

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