Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.
Once you hit a certain age, aches and pains can creep up on you no matter how healthy you are. Learn how to prevent and manage age-related pains here.
100 million adults in the United States have chronic pain, mostly due to aging. Even if you're a generally healthy person, aches and pains can affect you as you enter your 40s (or sooner) and beyond.
Here are the top five age-related pains and some pain management strategies that might work for you.
1. Lower back pain
An elderly holding on to their lower back is a picture we are all familiar with for a reason. Lower back pain is one of the most common chronic pains with more than 16 million adults enduring it on a regular basis.
If you are over 50 years old, you are prone to back pain from conditions such as arthritis. On the other hand, if you are under 50 and have no history of a back injury, then the likely cause of your lower back pain is prolonged sitting, which puts too much pressure on your spine.
Cardio exercises like walking and running, as well as doing some strength training, are effective ways to reduce lower back pain, as they play a crucial role in increasing blood flow and building the muscles that support your spine. Correcting your posture, physical therapy, and changing your sleep position are additional options that might offer some relief.
Check out 12 Ways to Relieve Back Pain (No Drugs Included) for more tips regarding this matter.
2. Degenerative joint pain
Also known as osteoarthritis, this age-related pain occurs when the protective cartilage between your bone and joint begins wearing down, causing discomfort in areas like your hips, hands, and knees.
Along with proper medication, most doctors recommend maintaining a physically active lifestyle to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Yoga, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming are examples of good aerobic exercises that improve blood circulation, which, in turn, keep the joints healthy and strengthened for reduced pain.
Remember, one of the worst things you can do to your aging body is sentencing it to a sedentary lifestyle.
3. Muscle strain or pain
As you near seniorhood, your body's muscle fibers will become less dense, making them more rigid and susceptible to soreness and injury. It is common to experience these muscle strains or pains with every passing decade. That being so, you need to avoid physically-demanding activities like heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling.
Daily stretching and good-for-flexibility exercises such as pilates and yoga can help prevent the onset of persistent muscle strain.
4. Non-arthritis joint pain
This age-related pain can feel like it's occurring in or around the joints, but it is not the result of osteoarthritis. Tendinitis is often the culprit. This inflammation of a tendon usually impacts the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels, making it difficult and painful to move the affected body part.
In many cases, tendinitis occurs in men and women over 40 who often participate in activities involving repetitive motions. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as giving your body a break from strenuous activities, can help alleviate non-arthritis joint pains.
5. Pelvic pain
In women, if your monthly period is not the cause, pelvic pain could be a symptom of a serious disease like uterine or ovarian cancer.
Never ignore persistent aches and pains, especially if you're getting older. If you're experiencing unusual sensations, consult your doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause and receive the treatment you need.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 03, 2021:
An interesting insight to aches and pains with age. Lower back pain is a slight problem and hip pain. Informative and I know more about such pains Does this depend on the clmate as well?
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 02, 2021:
The only pain I complain of, in my older age, is my feet. Neuropathy causes numbness, tingling, and terrible pain. And I'm a walker and hiker. I've spent a fortune on footwear, had visits to specialists, massages on my feet. Bunions and hammertoes are also a problem.
I'm learning to live with it all. At least I have feet and I'm grateful for that!
Thanks, for this informative article.