As we age, the disks 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 our spinal cord narrows over time. This condition, known as spinal stenosis, also puts pressure on the cord and spinal nerves, causing pain.
What age does your spine start to degenerate?
The spine starts degenerating somewhere between the ages of 20 and 25, explains Dr. Anand. But there’s a reason you don’t see most 20-somethings wincing from back pain: it takes a long time for spinal discs to wear down on their own. Normal aging isn’t the only cause of disc degeneration.
Does your spine change as you get older?
As you age, your spine goes through changes that make it more delicate and susceptible to pain. For most people, the first back pain symptoms arise between age 30 and 50, and they keep getting worse from there on out. Most of the time, age-related back pain can be attributed to general degeneration.
Can your spine deteriorate?
Degenerative spine conditions involve the gradual loss of normal structure and function of the spine over time. They are usually caused by aging, but may also be the result of tumors, infections or arthritis. Pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots caused by degeneration can be caused by: Slipped or herniated discs.
Can you become paralyzed from degenerative disc disease?
A severely herniated disc can cause paralysis. Disc herniation is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine).
Does drinking water help degenerative disc disease?
Eventually, it can lead to pain and swelling and even a bulging disc or herniated disc. Drinking water to adequately replenish the discs with the amount water needed to work properly can reduce the likelihood of developing back pain.
What are the symptoms of a crumbling spine?
But over time, symptoms of a spinal fracture may include:
- Sudden, severe back pain.
- Pain that gets worse when you stand or walk.
- Trouble bending or twisting your body.
- Loss of height.
- A curved, stooped shape to your spine.
Why does my back hurt as I get older?
The joints that connect the vertebrae are lined with cartilage, a flexible, elastic tissue. When you age, the cartilage fades away. At the same time, the discs lose water and become narrow, adding more pressure to the joints. This pressure causes inflammation and can lead to back pain.
Why does my lower back hurt as I get older?
Two of the most common causes of lower back pain in older adults include osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. Degeneration of joints in the lumbar spine is a common cause of back pain in older adults.
What vitamins are good for spine health?
Eating foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium is the best way to build strong spinal bones and prevent debilitating health problems, such as spinal fracture and osteoporosis.
Can you reverse spinal degeneration?
While disc degeneration can’t be reversed, there is evidence that exercise, lifestyle changes and careful management of your back pain can contribute to better quality of life.
What is the best treatment for degeneration of the spine?
Methods of pain control may include anti-inflammatory medications, manual manipulation, steroid injections, electrical stimulation, back braces or heat/ice therapy. Physical therapy can help stretch and strengthen the right muscles to help the back heal and reduce the frequency of painful flare-ups.