OLDER FOLKS AND BACK PAIN
ANCHOR LEAD: DEBILITATING BACK PAIN IS QUITE COMMON AMONG OLDER PEOPLE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The vast majority of elderly people will experience episodes of low back pain that compromise their ability to function, a recent study found. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is an important public health issue that deserves attention.
BELLANTONI: I felt that we should highlight how restrictive low back pain is in older adults, with 8 out of 10 women in this study and three quarters of the men experiencing over this ten year follow up restrictive back pain. There was more of a tendency to episodic pain that lasted about a month and resolved without significant intervention. They can be managed in a primary care setting through physical rehabilitation and pain management. :29
Bellantoni says the good news is that back pain does resolve for most without drastic interventions such as surgery, and over the counter pain relievers are also largely effective. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.