Many people accept back pain as just a part of growing old without ever finding out the cause of the pain. Several diseases can contribute to low back pain as the spine ages including disc degeneration, lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. The key to preventing an increase in low back pain is to catch the onset of these diseases early and set up a long-term treatment plan.
Disc Degeneration Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common conditions in an aging spine. Over time, the discs between the vertebrae begin to wear and lose their flexibility. As this happens, the spine becomes more rigid and sometimes painful. Degenerating discs are natural and only cause trouble when they begin to compress and pinch the nerves or spinal cord around them. To learn more about this condition, read this article on degenerative disc disease.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Another problem that can plague the aging spine is lumbar spinal stenosis. This condition causes the space where the spinal cord and nerve roots are to begin to narrow and compress the spinal cord. When this happens, it can begin to become painful and cause weakness in the legs. Lumbar spinal stenosis typically affects people over the age of 50. To learn more about lumbar spinal stenosis, read this article on spinal stenosis.
Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra slips forward and over the vertebrae below it. Many times, this does not cause a problem for the patient. Only when the slipped vertebra irritates a nearby nerve root does the condition become painful. Like other conditions that plague an aging spine, spondylolisthesis can be treated. To learn more about this condition, read this article on spondylolisthesis.
Remember, the important thing is to catch these conditions early before they become a bigger problem later. Consult with a physician to determine a treatment plan for you.