Is it a Good Idea for Young Adults to Tolerate and Dismiss Back Pains?

man having back pain

The answer, unfortunately, is no.

This is based on a survey we conducted among 70 of our patients, aged between 35 to 45, who came to us because of back pains. 75% indicated that they were already experiencing back pains way back in their early twenties.

And the back pains would come on and off as the years go by, each time worse than before.

If you are a young adult and currently experiencing lower back pain, it can be easy to dismiss it and wait for the pain to go away by itself based from your previous experiences.

“I’ll just apply medicated plaster last time and tahan (tolerate) the pain until it goes away after a while,” one of our patients answered in response to why he took so long to finally seek chiropractic treatment. “I didn’t think it will be that bad,” he said.

But it is that bad.

woman lying on the bed thinking

Back pain only gets worse with age. When you are younger and fitter, your body has a faster recovery time. The time interval between painful and painless is directly proportional to your age; it gets longer and longer as you get older.

There are many reasons why we suffer from back pains increasingly as we age. Our spine is made of vertebrae (individual bones) stacking on top of one another. There are small joints present between each vertebra that help our spine to move and discs with jelly-like centres that acts like cushions for our spine and keeps the bones from rubbing against each other.

As we age, our spine may lose the cushioning as the discs start to wear and tear. This will cause pain and stiffness when the bones start rubbing against each other. Sometimes, our spine muscles lose elasticity which also results in stiffness.

Some back pain symptoms include a sharp stabbing pain in the lower back, and the more severe ones can limit our mobility and even prevent us from standing straight. In some incidences, the pain can also radiate to other parts of the body near the back such as the hips or legs. If the back pain lasts for more than three months, it is considered chronic back pain, which requires special treatments.

7 out of 10 patients stated that they had back pains as early as when they were in NS

close up of soldier feet with army boots in forest

We had recently compiled and analysed the answers from the questionnaires we gave to all our patients after each session. We do this so that we can have a deeper understanding on the pain history of our patients. 75% of the patients who came in for back treatments responded that they had back pains as early as when they were in NS because of the strenuosity of the physical exercise and lifting of heavy objects. These resulted in them straining their spine, with some as serious as injuring their backs.

We saw a similar pattern unfolding when we asked these patients how they had treated the pain. All but one answered that they had just applied medicated plasters and medicated oil to relieve the pain and then waited for the pain to go away by itself. Only one responded that he went to a chiropractor to seek treatment. We have also noted that the back pain these patients are currently facing is manifesting itself again at the same spot.

When something is not rectified at the beginning, it will come back later in life

senior sportsman with back pain

This is a life advice we hear every now and then, and one that is extremely relevant to back pains too. Do NOT ignore your back pains when you are young. We have seen too many patients in their late 30s and 40s suffering the repercussions of a painful back when they could have it treated right from the beginning. It may sound like we are nagging but we do have your best interest at heart.

To make an appointment for an initial consultation, please call +65 6384 7385