Why Your Risk of Back Pain Increases with Age

Why Your Risk of Back Pain Increases with Age

It’s no secret, but the statistics do support the commonly held belief that your risk of back pain increases as you get older. For adults aged 18-29, 28% suffer from back pain. For those aged 30-44, the number increases to 35%, and for adults 45-64, it jumps to 44%. 

So why is this the case? One main reason is that as you age, you’re still at risk for all the same things that cause pain in younger people (such as strains and sprains), but you’re also adding in a whole new set of risks.

Here’s a look at a few reasons why your risk of back pain increases with age, courtesy of the expert team at Regenerative Pain & Spine.

Spinal cord changes

Your spinal column is made up of 33 vertebrae with discs in between them to provide cushion. As you get older, these discs begin drying out and wearing away, which causes more stiffness and pain in your back as your vertebrae rub against each other. The area around your spinal cord can also get more narrow (spinal stenosis), which puts pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, causing pain as well.

Weak core

As you get older, your muscles begin to lose strength, flexibility, and endurance. A weak core can cause back pain no matter how old you are, but because your muscles grow weaker as you get older, your core is likely to be weaker as well. A quick way to check on your core: If you have to use your arms to get up from a chair, you probably need to strengthen your core.


Osteoarthritis commonly develops in your joints as you age, and this can include your spine, leading to stiffness, less flexibility, and pain. Arthritis can also lead to the spinal stenosis mentioned above.

Extra weight

Carrying extra pounds puts increased pressure on your spine and back, leading to more pain. There’s no correlation between age and weight, but if your weight has been gradually increasing over the years, this could be causing back pain. Older folks sometimes tend to be less active and more sedentary as well, so increasing your activity level (and watching your diet) can help.


Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density that can occur as you get older, causing your bones to become more brittle and weak. This can affect your vertebrae as well, leading to compression fractures that cause your back pain.

If you’re experiencing back pain and need help dealing with it, Dr. Shoeb Mohiuddin and the team at Regenerative Pain & Spine have the knowledge and compassion to help. Choose one of our four locations and schedule an appointment by calling the office or using the convenient online booking tools for each office.

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