Posted on 13 November 2017 by Willow Chiropractic
Tags: Active Ageing, Family Health, Health

Are aches & pains inevitable for over 50's?

The conventional wisdom is that if you’re over 50, you can expect aches and pains to become a regular feature of life. But while aging undeniably has an impact on the body, “It’s just old age” should never be an excuse.

“I used to love playing football, but I just keep injuring myself recently - it’s not worth the bother…”

“There was a time I was out hiking every weekend, but these days it’s a killer on my knees…”

Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong and needs attention. If you address it sooner rather than later, you can continue to stay active and make the most of life well into your 50's and beyond.

How ageing affects the body

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It’s true that over time our bodies face a lot of stress – and our posture adapts to accommodate this. The compensations our joints and muscles develop to cope become less effective as the years progress, which can mean a loss of mobility, balance and the freedom to work or enjoy our interests as we get older.

Which is unfortunate for two reasons - first, because there’s no reason why we should give up the things we love as we age, and second, because maintaining regular physical activity is in fact essential to maintain health into later life.

With age, and without regular chiropractic treatment, our muscle fibres lose their density, making them less flexible and more likely to become sore – and we also become more prone to injury. So where you might once have been able to whack a ball around a tennis court or dance the night away without worry, you could now find yourself feeling more than usually stiff the next day or even cause yourself damage that stops you enjoying these things in the future.

Trusted TV doctor Dr. Chris Steele says that as we age, “our spine and back can be heavily affected, which is why it’s just as important to pay attention to your back care needs just as much as other, more visible parts of your body.” Chiropractic care for the back is an essential part of improving musculoskeletal conditions so that they do not impact on our ability to engage fully with life.

Prevention as well as treatment

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Maybe your neck hurts when you turn your head to look at a blind spot while driving. Or your back aches when you get out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time, or your legs or back feel stiff and sore after only a short walk. You don’t have to accept this as normal. Chiropractic care will help ease the pain and stop it coming back so you can return to the activities you used to enjoy.

Chiropractic care is an increasingly common complementary medicine choice with older adults. By addressing underlying problems with the back, spine, muscles and joints, chiropractic allows you to continue to participate actively in work, family life and hobbies. By doing so, you reduce your risks of becoming obese or developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease. Because chiropractic is just as much about prevention as cure, you can increase the likelihood of living independently as you move into your later years.

Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association says, “The earlier we start thinking about how our bodies will age, the sooner we can go about taking the best action to keep ourselves mobile and flexible. This will not only help us maintain those activities we wish to enjoy as we get older but will also help keep independence and prevent falls.”

How Willow can help

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At Willow, we will assess your spine and your symptoms thoroughly and develop a treatment plan tailor-made to you. In addition to doing adjustments where necessary, your chiropractor will advise you on lifestyle changes to support your health. This could include daily exercise or stretching as well as adaptations to your environment – appropriate desk chairs and car headrests, for example – to make you more comfortable and avoid strain to your spine.

So if you're experiencing pain and discomfort, take action. The earlier you catch the problem, the sooner you can experience relief and stop it developing into a serious problem, keeping your quality of life regardless of your age.

References

Active Ageing. British Chiropractic Association. https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/active-ageing/

Celebrating older people. British Chiropractic Association. https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/celebrating-older-people/

7 Age-Related Pains and How to Ease Them. Camille Noe Pagán. www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/common-pains-of-age#1.

Musculoskeletal health conditions represent a global threat to healthy aging: a report for the 2015 World Health Organization World Report on Ageing and Health. AM Briggs, MJ Cross, DG Hoy, et al. Gerontologist, 56 (suppl 2) (2016), pp. S243-S255

Strength and muscle mass loss with aging process. Age and strength loss. Karsten Keller and Martin Engelhardt. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2013 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 346–350. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940510.

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