It’s inevitable. It’s obvious. And it’s bound to occur. When age settles down in human body, it would bring in some pain, which is normal, but distressing nonetheless. However, the common pains of aging can be controlled or eased by adopting the right approach towards them. Around 100 million Americans have to suffer from long-term aches that remain in the body after an injury or prolonged illness. Also there are millions of people who suffer from short-term illnesses and pains, which later on become a part of their life as they grow old.
Common Pains of Aging and How to Feel Better
Lower Back Pain: This is the most chronic type of pain of aging in the human body. In fact, in the whole of United States of America, there are almost 100 million patients suffering from intense lower back pain. If your age has surpassed 50 and you haven’t even suffered any sort of injury and still have lower back pain, then the common cause probably is prolonged sitting in one position. It puts too much of pressure in the back, says Robert Fay, owner of Armonk Physical Therapy in New York. Older adults are likely to develop this back pain due to arthritis.
How to Feel Better: Strength training and cardio exercises; both are extremely helpful in increasing the blood flow, and helps the body build core muscles. It strengthens the spine and makes it strong and flexible and helps in fighting this pain of aging. Physical therapy on the other hand is another effective option in alleviating lower back pain of aging. The therapist helps in showing exercises which helps in relieving the pain. Over-the- counter medications like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen also help, though it is not advisable to make a regular habit of taking these pills because of their side effects.
Headaches: The regular headaches and migraines; these are two types of chronic pains that worsen in old age. In fact, the pain of migraine at times becomes so acute that taking a pain killer becomes a necessary to find relief. Experts aren’t sure as to what triggers migraines; however, factors like muscle tension, dehydration, stress, wrong sleeping patterns are said to be strong causes behind migraine headaches, especially as one ages.
How to Feel Better: If your headache is in the temple area or forehead, then it might be tension headache, which can be eased by massaging the area gently. Applying menthol cream at the forehead or on the base of neck is effective in relieving the headache.
Over-the-counter pain killers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen do help in relieving migraine headache and other types of headache, but it is highly recommended not to take these medicines for more than 3 days at a stretch without consulting your doctor.
Osteoarthritis: This painful medical condition develops when the protective cartilage between the joint and the bone breaks down causing pain in these joints. Osteoarthritis is a common malady of aging and usually affects the joints of hands, hips, or knees and strikes people between the ages of 60 to 70. This condition is eventually a result of old age due to wear and tear of muscles, or an injury from a sport’s activity.
How to Feel Better: Staying physically active is the main key in relieving the pain of osteoarthritis. Staying physically active keeps the circulation of the blood in the body active and this helps in keeping the joints healthy and strong. Another way by which people get relief from the pain of Osteoarthritis is by applying heat to the painful joints. Heat application relieves the joint stiffness and pain. Ice application can be done to relieve the swelling of the joints.
Non-Arthritis Joint Pain: This pain that is generally in or around the joints is usually the result of tendinitis. Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons which connect the muscles to the bones. This non-arthritis pain tends to worsen with every movement unlike the pain of Osteoarthritis. Often it is caused by activities that involve repetitive motions like shoveling. It develops mostly after the age of 40; and as a person gets older, the tendons become less elastic and are more prone to various injuries and inflammation resulting in this pain of aging.
How to Feel Better: The most effective way to get relief from this pain of aging is the usage of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Rest is the best way to heal inflammation. Avoid activities which aggravate the joints. Application of ice pack over the sore area gives relief from pain and swelling. If the pain doesn’t subside, then over-the-counter pain medications can help; however, they should be taken with doctor’s consultation first.
Pelvic Pain: Almost one out of every seven women between the ages of 18 to 50 suffers from chronic pelvic pain. The pain feels like a dull ache. This pelvic pain can occur as a result of painful menstruation or can occur as a result of other medical conditions like the IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
How to Feel Better: Over-the-counter pain medications do give relief; however, if the pelvic pain persists for more than 6 days, then it is advisable consult your doctor. According to Dr. Deborah Clements an MD at Northwestern Medicine in Illinois, one shouldn’t wait for the time when the pain just becomes unbearable. Proper treatment should be started at the onset of pain itself. Application of warm compresses to the lower pelvic region helps in alleviating the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This medical condition mostly occurs between the ages of 40 to 60. In condition, a nerve that runs from arm to the palm gets pressed or squeezed, which produces pain in the fingers and wrist. It also leads to numbness and tingling. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome commonly is caused by repetitive motion activities like typing or using any type of machinery continuously. Unfortunately, other factors like a family history of carpal tunnel, arthritis, and menopause related issues and hormonal changes increase the odds of getting this condition as one ages.
How to Feel Better: You should talk to your doctor if you are suffering from this condition. Exercises, therapies, special exercises of arms are some of the treatment options available. However, surgery still remains the most probable and most effective solution in treating carpal tunnel syndrome and its pain.