Age Is Just a Number
“I’m just getting old.” Have you ever said or thought that about an ache or pain that you’re having? We hear it every day in the clinic. If we’re being honest, we’ve probably said it ourselves as well. We have some bad news for you, you don’t get to keep blaming your aches and pains on old age. Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you have to experience pain or be limited in what you want to do. There are some realities about aging, but it’s not all negative and there is a lot that you can do to stay active and healthy as you age.
First, a couple facts about aging:
The likelihood of developing back pain actually goes down past the age of 60-65
The stronger and better shape you are in, the less likely you are to suffer a serious injury
So what all of this means is that just because you are aging you do not have to be in pain. A good question to ask yourself if one knee, shoulder or hip hurts - does the other side hurt too? If not, then it’s probably not just age. Your other side is just as old as the painful side! If your back hurts, it’s probably not only just because you are getting older. As we said above, it’s actually less likely to have back pain as you get older. As we age it gets harder to build muscle, but it’s not a lost cause. You can still keep the strength you have and stay active if you get on the right exercise plan.
But my X Ray shows arthritis!
That might be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in pain. If you have days where you don’t hurt as much, that means it can’t just be the arthritis that’s causing the pain because the arthritis isn’t changing day to day. Even if your X Ray shows you have arthritis, that doesn’t mean you have to always have pain. Strengthening the muscles around the joint, getting you moving more, or maybe making you more flexible can reduce the pain of arthritis.
But what can I do?
The good news about all of this is that there’s a good chance that there’s hope for less pain or more activity. The bad news is that now you don’t have an excuse not to do something about it. The easiest way is to start being more active. So whether that is walking, biking, swimming, water aerobics, or any other form of exercise, get active. Your body likes movement so the more you move the better you will feel. If you don't feel comfortable just quite yet, you can talk with one of our therapists. They will be able to develop a plan that will help get you more active and deal with any injuries or pain that may be limiting you.
So if you've ever thought or said "I'm just getting old", it's time to start getting you moving again!