Getting older generally means more health problems. One of the things that may happen with you is having trouble with your back. Fortunately, most issues can be taken care of by a doctor if you seek treatment. Below are two types of back problems you should be aware of if you want to get the help you need.

Low Back Pain

If you are feeling pain in your lower back and have had no injury this is generally due to osteoarthritis. You likely have pain that interrupts your sleep, and have pain worse in the morning and again at night. If you have problems with your spine, you feel pain if you press on the area. Pain is exacerbated with activity, and your back may feel stiff.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is a condition that starts out with little pain and then gets worse over time. This type of arthritis happens because the cartilage between the back joints deteriorate. Along with the symptoms above, you may feel pain that radiates down your hip and leg. You will feel better when you sit down or bend over.

The doctor generally treats osteoarthritis with pain medication and physical therapy. If these things do not help, the doctor will suggest surgery, especially if you have complete cartilage loss.

Spinal Compression Fracture

Another cause of back pain is a spinal compression fracture. This often happens with women in post-menopause that have osteoporosis, and with both men and women if there is a long use of corticosteroids. Because you are older, it is common for your bone density to reduce, which will increase your chances of sustaining a compression fracture.

Your back will feel painful all the time, and get worse with any kind of movement, such as walking, standing, or even sneezing. You will likely feel a little relief if you lie down and rest your back. You may also lose some of your height, and your spine will look stooped and curved.

It generally takes a few months for you to heal from a spinal compression fracture. Your doctor will give you pain medication, ask you to see a physical therapist, and give you a back brace to wear. In the beginning the doctor will ask you to rest and then increase your physical activity a little at a time.

Talk with your doctor about these two back problems and they can give you much more information about them.


For more information, visit Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.