Today, a 65 year old came for her first consultation with me. Very sweet lady, otherwise healthy but has a severe lower back pain. She told me: "My back hurts, I guess this is what I should expect at my age".
How many times have I heard that and it really is sad we relate old age with pain so easily. We accept that old age = pain. I cringe every time I hear that because it is simply not true. Growing old should not be a painful experience. Pain has nothing to do with getting old. You can experience pain at any age.
After our consultation, she hugged me with tears in her eyes and said, "I never thought of it that way. I want to enjoy getting old, not regret it". She left my office with a huge smile and a different outlook in life. It's in moments like these that I feel so blessed with my profession.
Kirkaldy-Willis, in their book Managing Low Back Pain, noted that “Aging and degenerative changes are not synonymous, and degenerative changes do NOT appear unless the joint has been damaged."
Here's another perspective: I've seen 90 year olds run a marathon and others (some much younger) bed-ridden. What's the difference? The ones who are running have a very healthy spine. They refused to live with pain and took care of their spinal health from the get-go.
I have observed during my 10 years of practice, that one of the reasons why pain can get worse is because symptoms do get worse over time if not properly addressed.
How do you choose to see yourself at 90? Let's talk about your spinal health in your next visit.