Let’s count them up. In our spines, we have 26 bone disks, or vertebrae. When you add to that a few decades (or more) of life, our chances for back pain really stack up – so it’s no wonder the World Health Organization estimates that 60 to 70 percent of us will experience lower back pain as we age. The truth, which is no surprise, is that along with aging comes wear and tear in all our joints; our vertebrae are not immune. And degenerative spine is the most common cause of that back pain in older adults.
If you’ve suffered from back pain you know how uncomfortable it is. Sitting, standing, walking, even sleeping or lying down can all seem to aggravate your back. While there are plenty of circumstances and ailments that can lead to back pain, one of the most common causes is a bulging disc – not to be confused with herniated discs, a term many people use interchangeably with “bulging discs,” though these aren’t the same condition. Most of my patients with back pain have a fear of back surgery – and this is understandable. Back surgery is typically a last-resort option. The good news is that bulging discs often can be managed without any surgery.