If you're like most Americans, chances are you've experienced some lower back pain at one time or another. But as you've gotten older, you may have noticed that it becomes more common, or more chronic. If this has happened to you and you don't know what's going on, read this guide to find out.

The Way the Body Changes

Every person's spine has cushions between each vertebra called discs. These discs are there to keep the vertebrae comfortably spaced apart, and when you're a child and a young adult, they do their job very well. However, as you grow older, these discs start to become thinner and flatter. This means that the vertebrae start to move closer together than ever before, and it tends to get worse the older you become.

What Happens After

There are two main things that happen that can cause lower back pain when your vertebrae move closer together. Here's a look at both.

The first is that your vertebrae may effectively start to pinch the discs between them and even rub against each other. Bone rubbing on bone is never comfortable, no matter where it happens in the body, and the spine is no different. Stretching and exercises like yoga can provide temporary relief by helping to stretch the spine and open up the space between the vertebrae again, but the impact tends to be temporary.

Next, you're more likely to experience pinched nerves as the vertebrae move closer together. This is a very common cause of lower back pain, but it can also cause pain all over your body depending on which nerve is pinched and where on the nerve the pinch occurs.

Getting Help

If you're having lower back pain, you don't need to just endure it. You can get help from a chiropractor instead.

Chiropractors are pros at realigning spines and spreading out vertebrae that have moved too close to one another. Your chiropractor will perform an initial scan and physical examination to determine what your needs are, which may include evaluating your posture, as poor posture can make lower back pain worse.

From there, a simple adjustment of the spine may provide you with significant relief. The vertebrae will be moved further apart, and any pinched nerves will be released.

Like exercises, the help you receive from a chiropractor isn't permanent, because gravity will eventually cause your vertebrae to slide closer together again. However, if you set up a regular schedule of appointments effectively providing maintenance on your spine, you'll get to reap long-term benefits.

For more information about lower back pain treatment, contact a chiropractor in your area.