28/04/2014 Gavin

Old age is no cure for lower back pain

But it needn’t be a curse either…

If you’re worrying that your lower back pain will worsen as you age – don’t! Worrying is just about the worst thing you can do for lower back pain. On the other hand, don’t expect it to disappear entirely either. The world of science gives us mixed messages on this one…

It appears that back pain peaks in the middle of life (at least across the population as a whole). It doesn’t really tail off after 60, but it doesn’t get any more common either. Our experience is that severe disabling lower back pain is more common in people in their 40s and 50s – it’s rare for me to see someone over 60 with such disabling pain.

However, we do see lots of older folk with lower back pain (and sciatica), and one of the down-sides with being older is that it often takes longer to get over an episode than it used to 🙁


As you’re getting older, whatever you do already, don’t stop (unless it’s smoking, eating fry-ups, or binge-drinking!). The “use it or lose it” rule applies to your mental and physical capabilities. It’s vitally important to stay active mentally and physically – otherwise your mind and body will waste away a lot more quickly. As Diane Nyad showed at aged 64, (swimming from Cuba to Florida) age is no barrier to extreme physical feats. In fact there’s lots of scientists now who will tell you that inactivity is worse for you than increasing age!!

Remaining active may not eliminate all risks of back pain and sciatica, but it will almost certainly help you to get better faster and not suffer as much pain. If you are struggling to get over a bout of pain, it may be that we can speed things up for you, so don’t hesitate to give me a ring, or email.

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