Is Low Back Pain Part of Getting Older? 

Amisha Klawonn, PT, DPT

Low Back Pain and Aging

Overheard walking out of 24 hour fitness this month: " I have low back pain too, its part of getting older. You just have to power through it and keep moving, that is the only the way to live". These two ladies were in their 60s and walking out of a senior fitness class at the gym. While I applaud these women for staying active and participating in classes, I absolutely disagree that low back pain "is what happens when you get older and you must live with it".  

You do not have to live with low back pain! Not everyone gets low back pain as they age. What's the secret of living without pain? Small, daily movements that build your strength and endurance cumulatively. Providing your body and your brain with pain-free positive movements to enable you to get to the bigger goals of movement. For example, if your goal is to walk a 5K in 2015, you would want to start slowly and incrementally, walking 1/4 mile to start and ramping up slowly and gradually. Especially if you haven't done any walking at all in the past few months. If you went straight out and walked 5k without any training or building up to it, you are definitely risking injury and overloading your body.  

Powering through low back pain is setting yourself up for failure, every time you push through pain, you are creating neural pathways that set up fear and pain in your system. Pain is there for a reason, as a guide, that structures are being overloaded or taken to limits that they cannot handle. What if, you turned it around and focused on pain free movements, imagine making it through that entire 5K or aerobics class without any pain, what would that feel like for you? It is possible.  

There are small precise movements that you can begin with to start to teach your body where its pain-free places are. Awareness precedes all change, once you are aware, you can change it. Then you can start to add to load and gravity to these movements to strengthen your spinal muscles without pain. Anyone can do these exercises, whether you have had surgery, scoliosis or chronic pain for years. Now is the time to start. A physical therapist can evaluate where the best place is for you to start and move you through a program to get you to pain free movement.  

Are you ready to start your journey? Contact me to set up a time to talk to see if the Oneness Program is right for you. I take a limited number of clients each quarter, if you are ready, lets talk.  

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About the Author

Amisha Klawonn is a Board Certified Physical Therapist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. She is professionally trained in yoga and Pilates and Barre. She is an avid lover of movement and the teaching others the way to learn about body wisdom.