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Back Pain & The Older Adult

Chronic low back pain is one of the most common, poorly understood, and potentially disabling chronic pain conditions from which older adults suffer.

Many older adults remain quite functional despite chronic low back pain, and because age-related co morbidities often exist independently of pain (e.g., medical illnesses, sleep disturbance, mobility difficulty), the unique impact of low back pain may not be known.

As we age, spinal discs, joints, ligaments, muscles and other spinal tissues become weaker, less hydrated, more fibrous, and less able to withstand normal strain. As a result, back pain from spinal degeneration becomes more prominent, soft tissues increase as the body is more vulnerable to injury. As the time to heal from injury increases as we age, minimizing risk and optimizing overall health and wellness becomes even more important.

A study of older adults revealed that back pain was most often associated with difficulty in standing in one place, pushing or pulling a large object, and walking a half-mile. Similarly, low back pain in older women has been linked to reported difficulty in performing important functional tasks.

Drug treatment is generally the first and most widely used treatment modality among many health care providers to control adult pain, but these medications are not without risks.

Murphy Chiropractic, rather than focusing on pain medication, uses a multi-level, interdisciplinary treatment program for lower back pain. Chiropractic care is especially important for maturing and elderly adults because of the dramatic changes that occur in the spine with increasing age.

By using the latest spine adjusting techniques and nutritional protocols for anti-inflammation, spinal stresses are decreased, flexibility and mobility are improved, and degeneration is minimized.

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