Did you know Shark Attacks increase when people eat more ice cream? It’s true, but eating ice cream doesn’t cause shark attacks. Both ice cream eating and shark attacks happen more commonly in the summer when it is hot (and when people get in the water). The same thing goes for the back. We assume back pain is normal as we age because we know people commonly have it as they age. But do we have it all wrong?
The other day I was asked “Isn’t Back Pain a Normal Part of Aging?” and I thought this was an important topic to talk about. The popular belief is back pain is caused by age, but the real cause might surprise you.
We commonly have pain with our activities as we get older and most people assume it is due to age. It isn’t. Pain Is not a normal part of aging. If the pain can’t be traced back to something specific it is usually due to previous injuries or pain that causes us to move differently through compensations. These compensations may help in the short to medium term, but they will usually come back to haunt you in the long term.
Since these compensations can take a while to cause physical problems, physical problems are more common to be felt the older you get. Spotting these compensations (which can many times be very small, but cause big problems) and fixing them is key to either getting out of pain OR preventing future pain and limitations.
Have you ever had a specific way you move that doesn’t feel “normal”? That is likely a compensation and you are moving in a different way either because of potential pain or motion limitations. Many times we think “well it doesn’t hurt so I guess there isn’t a problem”. While that can sometimes be true these are some of the easier movements that you can fix to help prevent future pain. Getting on top of these movements while they are small, and more just annoying, movements can really set you up for later success with movement later on in life.
If you can fix these on your own then go for it. However if you need some help the fastest way you can improve these movements is by working with someone who has done this thousands of times before. Finding a back pain specialist physical therapist who can provide you with one on one therapy with hands-on care, specific exercises, and specialist advice will allow you to no longer feel the pain that prevents you from achieving your activity goals and help you to lead an active lifestyle.
If you are having low back pain and want to stay active please consider downloading this free report we made just for active adults like you titled 9 Ways to Ease Low Back Pain to Help You Live an Active Lifestyle (without pain meds, frequent doctor visits, or surgery).