How does aging cause Dorsalgia?

It is one of the most common skeletal muscle syndromes. Which often develops in patients of older age groups with weak mobility. You may feel Sharp or stinging pain in the back in Dorsalgia.

However, Common treatments include medication or physical therapy.

What is Dorsalgia?

Dorsalgia means back or spine pain, including low back, mid-back, and sciatic pain. Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. 

However, the pain may radiate down your leg and worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing, and walking. 

How does aging causes dorsalgia?

As we get older, the discs start to dry out and no longer cushion the bones. Without the cushioning of the discs, the nerve roots or spinal cord start to get pinched or pressured, causing a Stiff Back. 

The joints that connect the vertebrae are lined with cartilage, a flexible, elastic tissue. When you age, the cartilage fades away. 

However, At the same time, the discs lose water and become narrow, adding more pressure to the joints. This pressure causes inflammation and can lead to a  Stiff Back.

Is back stiffness a symptom of dorsalgia?

Many underlying causes of a stiff back include dorsalgia, trauma, overuse or repetitive stress, and poor posture. A sudden traumatic injury from lifting improperly, a fall, or an accident, typically leads to pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms, causing back stiffness.

How do you keep your spine healthy as you age?

By doing the following measures, we can keep our spine healthy:

  1. Focus On Your Posture.
  2. Wear Comfortable, Supportive Shoes.
  3. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet.
  4. Build Strength With Exercises.
  5. Stay Flexible.
  6. Reduce Stress.
  7. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice.
  8. Expert Orthopedics in the Cleveland Area.

What are the common symptoms of Dorsalgia?

Your symptoms can range from mild to severe back pain accompanied by a burning sensation. Following are the symptoms of dorsalgia:

  • Difficulty in carrying out everyday activities like climbing the stairs, etc.
  • Sharp or stinging pain in the back.
  • Pain in the neck or back together with a burning sensation.
  • Difficulty in changing your position.
  • Pain when you bend down.
  • Difficulty in changing posture.
  • Numbness in the upper or lower back.

What is the Diagnosis?

Your doctor or orthopedic surgeon will take a look at your condition with the help of certain tests and a physical examination to find out the root cause of your back pain or dorsalgia.   Following are the main ways in which dorsalgia may be diagnosed:

1. Physical Examination

Your diagnosis will most likely begin with a physical exam. Next, your doctor will ask you a set of questions about your leg pain. You may also be asked to do a series of routine tasks like sitting, standing, walking. While you do these tasks, the doctor will closely note your performance. 

2. Medical Tests:

Medical or back pain tests for the diagnosis of dorsalgia may include imaging tests and nerve tests:

  • Imaging Tests: They are done to take a closer look at what may be causing your back pain. These tests include MRI, CT scan, and X-rays.
  • Nerve tests: Neurological testing for dorsalgia may include tests such as Electromyography (EMG) done to monitor electrical activity and predict nerve damage by inserting small needles (electrodes) through the skin into the muscles.

What are the Risk Factors?

Following are some of the risk factors of dorsalgia:

  • Old age: Older people are more susceptible to dorsalgia
  • Smoking: Smokers are at a higher risk of dorsalgia than non-smokers
  • Diseases: Arthritis and cancer can also lead to back pain
  • Posture: A poor posture has also been associated with dorsalgia.
  • Being overweight: Obese people are at a higher risk of back pain, muscle strain, and joint pain.

What are the treatments?

A doctor elects to use conservative therapy to treat dorsalgia if the conditions are not very severe and are in their initial stages. However, common treatments include:

Pain Killers:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), may help relieve back pain. However, take these medications only as directed by your doctor. Overuse can cause serious side effects. If OTC pain relievers don’t relieve your pain, your doctor might suggest prescription NSAIDs.

Physical Therapy:

A physical therapist can teach you exercises to increase your flexibility, strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, and improve your posture. Regular use of these techniques can help keep pain from returning. 

However, Physical therapists will also provide education about how to modify your movements during an episode of back pain to avoid flaring pain symptoms while continuing to be active. So, some exercises are given below for good posture

1) Isometric rows

This exercise helps to relieve pain and stiffness from sitting in one place for too long. Isometric pulls work your shoulder, arm, and back muscles, giving you the strength to maintain good posture.

To do this:

  1. Sit in a chair with a soft back.
  2. Breathe deeply, and you hold this position for 10 seconds.
  3. On an inhale, slowly release to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 1 minute.

Do this exercise several times throughout the day

2) Side plank

You can use a side plank to maintain the alignment of your spine and legs. This energizing pose works the muscles in your sides and glutes. Strengthening and aligning these muscles helps to support your back and improve posture.

To do this:

  1. Bring your left hand slightly into the center from a high plank position.
  2. Align your body in a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  3. Look straight ahead of you or up toward your hand.
  4. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

3) High plank

The high plank pose helps relieve pain and stiffness throughout your body while strengthening your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It also enables you to develop balance and strength in your core and back, both important for good posture.

To do this:

  1. Come onto all fours, straighten your legs, lift your heels, and raise your hips.
  2. Straighten your back and engage your abdominal, arm, and leg muscles.
  3. Lengthen the back of your neck, soften your throat, and look down at the floor.
  4. Make sure to keep your chest open and your shoulders back.
  5. Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time.

Surgical and other procedures:

Procedures used to treat back pain may include:

Cortisone injections:

If other measures don’t relieve your pain, and if your pain radiates down your leg, your doctor may inject cortisone — a strong anti-inflammatory drug — plus a numbing medication into the space around your spinal cord. A cortisone injection helps decrease inflammation around the nerve roots, but the pain relief usually lasts only a month or two.

Radiofrequency neurotomy:

A fine needle is inserted through your skin, so the tip is near the area causing your pain in this procedure. Radio waves are passed through the needle to damage the nearby nerves, which interferes with the delivery of pain signals to the brain.


If you have unrelenting pain associated with radiating leg pain or progressive muscle weakness caused by nerve compression, you might benefit from surgery. However, these procedures are usually reserved for pain related to structural problems, such as narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) or a herniated disk that hasn’t responded to other therapy.


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