What is the role of aging in the etiology of low back pain (LBP)?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
  • Print
Answer

Answer

Like a modern skyscraper, the human spine defies gravity, and defines us as vertical bipeds. It forms the infrastructure of a biological machine that anchors the kinetic chain and transfers biomechanical forces into coordinated functional activities. The spine acts as a conduit for precious neural structures and possesses the physiological capacity to act as a crane for lifting and a crankshaft for walking.

Subjected to aging, the spine adjusts to the wear and tear of gravity and biomechanical loading through compensatory structural and neurochemical changes, some of which can be maladaptive and cause pain, functional disability, and altered neurophysiologic circuitry. Some compensatory reactions are benign; however, some are destructive and interfere with the organism’s capacity to function and cope. Spinal pain is multifaceted, involving structural, biomechanical, biochemical, medical, and psychosocial influences that result in dilemmas of such complexity that treatment is often difficult or ineffective. [1]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!