Spine: Aging Population


Lead Author(s): 

Beatrice J. Edwards, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Older adults will often experience musculoskeletal diseases affecting the spine, with spondyloarthritis and osteoporosis with vertebral fractures often the cause of pain and functional decline. Seniors with such problems may find themselves unable to push or pull large objects, or at times even reach above their heads. They may have problems lifting groceries from the floor, and bending at the waist may increase the risk for vertebral fractures in people with osteoporosis. Additionally, thoracic vertebral fractures (middle back) will result in decreasing functional vital capacity, predisposing older adults to chronic lung disease and pneumonias.


  • 2014

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