Are you shrugging off that persistent knee pain? Or have you noticed your loved ones struggling with debilitating aches? While a slight ache may not seem like a big deal at first, neglecting it for too long can lead to more serious consequences.
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Pain is a physical or potential harm to tissues that results in an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. Surprisingly, chronic pain affects more people than heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
As we age, various minor issues start to appear, from joint aches to hip pain. Whether you’re experiencing these pains yourself or have an elder at home going through them, it’s crucial not to ignore them.
Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore
1. Back Pain
As we grow older, lower back stiffness and pain become common complaints. Age-related lower back pain is primarily caused by wear and tear, degenerative changes in the discs and joints, decreased bone density, and reduced muscle and ligament elasticity.
If you experience lower back pain, it’s important to seek help promptly. Consult a doctor and a physiotherapist who can evaluate your condition and provide the right guidance. While it may not be possible to completely avoid age-related pains, there are preventive measures you can take:
Exercise regularly: Incorporating regular exercise early on can help prevent age-related pains. Set aside time every day for activities like walking or yoga. These small actions can make a significant difference in your quality of life as you age.
Consult a physiotherapist regularly: As you age, your muscles and joints weaken. Before minor issues escalate, seek a consultation and work on building strength with the help of a physiotherapist. Regular consultation with a physical therapist can help minimize age-related falls and muscle pains, as we have seen in our experience with patients aged 60 and above.
2. Knee Pain
Knee pain can be incredibly agonizing and limit your natural movements. Obesity, muscle fatigue, arthritis, and weak muscles leading to less joint support are common causes of knee pain. Early intervention is key to managing knee pain effectively. Look out for symptoms such as:
- Persistent knee pain
- Inability to bend or straighten the knee joint
- Difficulty putting weight on the knee while standing up
3. Hip Pain
The hip joint is connected to the lower back and leg bones. Any pain in these areas can cause hip joint pain. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the main causes of hip pain in older adults. These conditions lead to inflammation and destruction of the protective hip cartilage.
As hip pain increases gradually, it results in stiffness and limited mobility. If you’re suffering from hip pain, don’t attempt any exercises or self-medication at home. Consult a doctor and a physiotherapy specialist immediately to receive the correct course of action.
4. Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can occur suddenly due to trauma or develop gradually over time. Poor posture or repeated overhead movements, like lifting heavy objects over the head, are common causes of shoulder injury. Typical symptoms include a dull soreness in the shoulder, arm weakness, difficulty reaching back or lifting your arm, and disrupted sleep.
5. Muscle Spasms/Pulls
As you age, the frequency of muscle spasms or cramps tends to increase. Physical exertion can trigger sudden muscle spasms and intense pain, which can impede your ability to function normally for a few days. While most muscle spasms go away within 2-3 days, if your pain persists longer, it’s advisable to consult your doctor.
Remember, when it comes to age-related pains, it’s always better to be proactive than to ignore them. Seeking professional help and adhering to preventive measures can make a significant impact on your overall well-being as you age. Don’t let these pains hold you back from living your best life.