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Aging and Neck Pain: What's the Link?

From minor posture misalignments to serious medical issues, neck pain has many causes; and for some people it can be a regular occurrence. If you’ve noticed you experience neck pain more as you age, you’re not alone.

Mishawaka, Indiana-based neck pain specialist Ajit Pai, MD, FIPP, believes your odds of experiencing neck pain increase as you get older. Aging-linked neck pain can make it harder to do the same activities you used to enjoy, but, fortunately, Dr. Pai helps older neck pain patients alleviate their pain through the advanced treatment options available at Pain Management Group, LLC.

Learn more about the connection between aging and neck pain and what treatment options can bring you relief.

What is neck pain?

Neck pain describes any type of pain you experience in your neck and surrounding areas, including your head, shoulders, and upper back. Along with feeling pain in your neck, symptoms of neck pain can comprise:

Neck pain is a complex problem, and it can have a variety of causes. Commonly, you can get neck pain as a result of having poor posture when you’re sitting, standing, or walking. Using a computer all day while slouching is a frequent culprit.

Your neck pain can also be a symptom of another condition. Muscle strain, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, nerve compression, whiplash injuries, and in rare cases, diseases like cancer, can all have neck pain as a symptom.

The link between neck pain and aging

To a certain extent, it’s normal to experience more neck pain as you age. As you get older, your spine and joints begin to wear down. This makes you more vulnerable to neck and upper back pain, especially after age 40.

The most common causes of neck pain change as you age. When you’ve over 40, you’re more likely to have neck pain related to degenerative conditions, like arthritis and spinal stenosis, while younger patients are more likely to have a herniated disc or injury.

While neck pain becomes more common as you get older, there are ways to keep your neck stronger to help prevent pain. The easiest way is to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes gently stretching your neck, engaging in aerobic exercise regularly, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Treating neck pain

Many cases of aging-related neck pain can be treated through simple changes in your routine. Dr. Pai can assist you with learning stretches and finding the right over-the-counter medication to help relieve your neck pain. You’ll also benefit from working with Dr. Pai to improve your posture, ensuring you work at an ergonomic workstation, and staying active.

When lifestyle changes alone don’t work, Dr. Pai offers state of the art treatments that ensure your neck feels better. These include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), medial branch block (MBB), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), physical therapy, and steroid injections. Your treatment plan is individualized based on your symptoms and the underlying cause of your pain.

Aging can cause you to feel more aches and pains in your neck, but with the right lifestyle changes and treatment, you can find long-lasting neck pain relief. To make an appointment with the team at Pain Management Group, LLC, contact our office by phone today.

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