Does getting older have to hurt?
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
One of the most common myths about aging is that as we get older, we are doomed to increasing pain.
This article was featured on WFSU's Aging MInute throught Claude Pepper Institute.
While it is true that as we age, there are changes that can be seen on X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans which often have words attached to them like arthritis, spondylosis, and degeneration. What we are now learning is that many of those changes are in fact a normal part of the ageing process, our wrinkles on the inside. One of the facts about these wrinkles on the inside is that they are often not associated with the occurrence of pain. For instance, back pain peaks around age 40 while neck pain peaks around age 50 and yet age related changes increase as we get older while incidence of back and neck pain continue to drop from their peaks.
Here are some findings on MRI studies on people who are healthy and pain-free, 33% of ALL people had a rotator cuff tear, 60% of people had a disc abnormality in their low back, 65% had cartilage damage in their knee and, scientists have even found these changes in mummies, cavemen, and dinosaurs. Now, that does not mean that you should discount or disbelieve what your MRI says, rather, understand that many of the findings on an x-ray or MRI are found on people without any pain or limitation. You can learn more about that here.
So what can you do about it?
So what can you do about it? One of the best ways to combat age related changes is to follow the CDC’s guidelines on getting 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. What exactly does "moderate activity " mean?
If you have questions or concerns about becoming active, seek qualified medical help prior to activity. Want to get your personal fitness or injury questions answered absolutely free? Request your free Total Body Diagnostic Test here.