Does back pain increase as you get older?

It is not uncommon for people to assume that back pain gets worse as we get older, but is this true? Actually, the studies over the last 10 years don’t show an increase in back pain beyond the age of 60, and actually, in some studies, back pain became less frequent in people over the age of 60 than people in the years leading up to 60!


So why doesn’t back pain get worse as we get older?


There are several theories to explain this:


  • It could just happen that the people who are over 60 at the time of the research were more fit and robust naturally - having grown up at a time when television and computer games were not around!
  • Another possibility is that we simply become more tolerant to pain as we get older!
  • The most likely explanation however is that we simply do less physically demanding activities in old age (well at least some of us!). We also tend to stop work around this time, and posture at work, or repetitive activities at work are a major cause of low back pain. There is also a clear correlation between high stress levels and back pain, so no longer working could mean lower stress levels, and so less back pain.

At Alba, the average age of our patients is 47. That is not to say we don't get people in their 70s, 80s and 90s coming in - we do, but the peak age to get back pain is in the middle aged groups.

So if you are still feeling young at heart, but are suffering with back pain, don't despair, it's not a sign of old age! But also, don't live with it. Chiropractic treatment is very effective in the treatment of back pain. If you haven't seen a Chiropractor before, consider giving Alba a try. 80% of our new patients come from word-of-mouth referrals, so it's clear people feel happy to recommend their friends to us! Make the most of our offer this month and make an appointment to see one of our chiropractors.


Does back and neck pain become more common as you get older? A systematic literature review. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012, 20:24

What is the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in the elderly population in developed countries?A systematic critical literature review Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012, 20:31

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