Why back pain increases with age

Nearly all of us will experience back pain as we age. Back page may be caused and aggravated by many lifestyles we make or face, such as poor posture, injury, diet, smoking or other health conditions. However the number one cause of back pain is age, with normal wear and tear occurring over time.

Increased back pain with age can differ from person to person. The pain may be mild or it can be so severe that you cannot comfortably move. Symptoms may include; dull aching pain, sharp pain, tingling or a burning sensation or weakness in your legs or feet.

Back pain can start at any age, but is most likely to occur between ages 30-40. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, back problems are also common among those aged 65-79, affecting 25.1% of men and 21.1% of women in this age group.

Tamer Sabet, a specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Australia says: “The prevalence of back pain reaches a peak by middle age, between the age of 55 to 65 years old, and gradually declines in the senior years.”

Individuals over the age of 60 are more likely to suffer from pain related to degeneration of the joints of the spine. Sometimes your muscles lose elasticity over time, your bones lose strength, and your spine loses cushioning as you age, which in turn leads to lower back pain. Medical conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, viral infections, and other diseases can further contribute to the pain.

Highly-respected US chiropractor Robin Lustig says: “Your spine consists of individual bones called vertebrae, which are stacked one on top of the other. Between each vertebra are small joints that allow your spine to move and discs with jelly-like centres that act as shock absorbers and prevent your bones from rubbing against each other.

“As we age the discs between the vertebrae wear away and shrink, which causes pain and stiffness as the bones start to rub against each other. In addition, the space around your spinal cord narrows over time. This condition, known as spinal stenosis, also puts pressure on the cord and spinal nerves, causing pain,” says Lustig.

Was this article helpful? 7 0

Is your mattress causing you back pain?

Enter your details below to receive our guide to back care eBook and improve your sleep quality.

Related content
Expert’s tips to manage back pain

According to Sydney’s Tamer Sabet, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, the most common mistake people make managing their back pain is seeking out the wrong information early on. “There are many perpetuating myths about how to look after your back when in a healthy state or following an episode of back pain. The effects of these myths […]

read more
Natural ways to relieve back pain

Each year Australians spend over $1 billion on treatments for back pain, but did you know there are many natural ways to effectively deal with back pain? These can not only provide quick relief but also reduce the long-term effects of back pain.   Yoga Yoga creates balance in the body through various poses that […]

read more
Why millennials suffer from back pain

Millennials (18-36 year olds), also known as Generation Y, are the first generation to grow up with cell phones, the internet and TV on demand. It’s no wonder technology has become such a fundamental part of their everyday life. At this stage, the long-term effects of heavy technology use are unknown. However, millennials are already […]

read more

Not getting the quality of sleep you need?

The right mattress can make all the difference. Try our Sleep Selector and we’ll recommend the best mattress for you.
We've got your back®
Back Care
Balanced Temperature
find the perfect sleep solution