Father time does not seem to be very kind to our bodies, including our precious spines. Our spines are just as susceptible to aging as our muscles, skin, and bones. Degenerative conditions of the spine are present in most seniors. “Back pain does not have to destroy your quality of life,” notes Dallas Fort Worth Minimally Invasive Neurosurgeon, Rebecca Stachniak, MD– “Applying a broad range of techniques in a comprehensive pain management plan can improve functionality and reduce pain.” Many people remain completely symptom-free from these conditions. However, some suffer and their daily activities become compromised. There are steps you can take this holiday season to help prevent and manage your back pain.
The spine is a column of vertebrae extending from the skull to the small of the back, encasing the spinal cord and providing support for the chest and abdomen. The vertebrae, or bones of the spine, are linked by small joints called facets. In between the vertebrae, there are discs filled with a fluid that provides the cushion your spine needs.
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Osteoporotic compression fractures
- Adult scoliosis
- Spondylolisthesis, when one spinal vertebra slips forward onto the vertebra beneath
Managing the Pain
- Physical activity
- Physical Therapy
- Alternating between heat and cold
- Bed rest
The degenerative process of the spine is an inevitable part of aging. In most people, this degeneration does not severely compromise the quality of life. It remains poorly understood why this process is painful and incapacitating in some and only minimally noticeable in others. The real problem is pain associated with the aging and finding practical solutions to maintaining your quality of life.
If your pain becomes chronic and persistent, don’t wait too long to see a back pain specialist. A board-certified back pain specialist can prescribe more intensive treatments to help your quality of life appear again.