As we get older, we tend to accept specific aches and pains as par for the course. We joke about no longer being spring chickens, or not moving as well as we used to. Back pain and spinal injury, in particular, may occur as a result of illness or accident, but with proper care one can find healing and relief. Recently, studies have suggested back pain is more than a symptom of aging, but an indicator of early mortality.
Back pain is a leading cause of disability in senior citizens. The American Chiropractic Association reports that 80 percent of people will suffer some level of back pain, making it the third most common reason for doctor visits. A study conducted at Brown University, and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, examined over eight thousand women aged 65 and older over a period of 14 years to determine a link between back pain and untimely death. Among the findings:
- 56% of the participants died over the course of the study period
- Of those who died, 65.8% suffered frequent, persistent back pain.
- Of this percentage, the participants had a higher risk of overall mortality, including cardiovascular and cancer deaths.
Does this mean you can expect a shorter lifespan if you suffer from chronic back pain? It is difficult to diagnose every person based on this one study, but if you experience pain as a result of an accident, genetic condition, or sports-related injury there are solutions to help reduce and manage your pain so you can resume an active lifestyle. This, in turn, allows you better mobility and exercise opportunities, and reduced symptoms associated with prolonged sitting and related issues.
At Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, we used advanced diagnostic tools to determine the best solution for back pain management and relief. Options may include surgery or other therapies designed to improve your quality of life. Contact us today for more information.
Source: Association of Back Pain with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Older Women: a Cohort Study