Common Back Problems for People Over 50

Common Back Problems for People Over 50

Jun 17
Common Back Problems for People Over 50

Back pain is a very common problem for adults in the United States, thanks in part to the complexity of the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments. In fact, four out of five adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. The highest rate of back pain occurs in adults age 30 to age 50, and there are specific back problems that most often affect those over the age of 50. The three most common back problems in people over the age of 50 are spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal. It can be caused by thickening of the ligaments that run along the spinal canal, enlarged cartilage due to arthritis, or bone spurs. Spinal stenosis causes back pain that gets worse with activity, such as walking. Surgery may be necessary to treat spinal stenosis, but there are alternative treatment options you can try before resorting to surgery. Acupuncture, massage or chiropractic adjustments may help relieve the pain caused by spinal stenosis. According to Adjust4Life, pain caused by spinal stenosis may be helped by a treatment method called the DRS Protocol. DRS stands for Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilization, and it is a pain-free method of treatment.


Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is found in the joints of the spine. The back is made up of 33 vertebrae and multiple joints, all of which may be affected by osteoarthritis. Over time, the cartilage located between the vertebrae of the spine and in the joints of the spine begins to degenerate. Cartilage provides a cushion between bones, and without it, the bones rub against each other, causing inflammation, swelling, stiffness and pain. As the cartilage continues to degenerate, bones may develop spurs and ligaments may start to thicken. Both of these conditions can lead to spinal stenosis.


Osteoporosis is a disease that is caused by a progressive loss of bone density. Osteoporosis affects women more than men. As bone density is lost, the bone tissue gets thinner, making bones far more susceptible to fractures. If the bones of the spine are affected by this disorder, the spine becomes more susceptible to injuries from falls and heavy lifting. In extreme cases, even the force of a sneeze may cause compression fractures in the vertebrae of the spine.

Back pain doesn’t have to be something that is suffered through as a result of getting older. Consult with your doctor to find out which treatment methods may work for you. Seek out alternative or natural treatment methods, such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture or massage therapy, and see if these methods can help relieve your pain. Natural treatment methods often complement traditional therapies, and may give you better or faster results.

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