Millions of Americans suffer with chronic pain, and it tends to get worse and more widespread with age. Some types of pain are more common as the body matures, which means it’s possible to prevent it – or at least be ready for it!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common age-related pains and how to ease them.
Lower Back Pain
In America, lower back pain is the most common type of chronic pain. This is largely due to the fact that people spend their days sitting in front of a computer. This puts a lot of pressure on the discs in the back.
It’s also possible that lower back pain can come from arthritis. To ease the pain, strength training exercises and cardio are helpful since they increase blood flow that supports the spine. You can also try physical therapy or a heating pad. Some OTC medications are OK for a short time.
You would think that the days of headaches would be gone after the kids moved out, but this isn’t the case. In fact, they might be worse. Headaches and migraines are the second most common type of chronic pain and they can be triggered by chocolate, changes in the weather, dehydration and more.
Some OTC medications are fine for a few days. Massages and menthol creams can also help. Migraines may need to be treated with a prescription medication.
OA occurs when the cartilage between the joints and bones break down. It usually happens because of age-related changes, an injury or wear and tear. The best way to prevent OA is to stay active to keep the blood flowing and the joints healthy. If you’re already suffering with symptoms, talk to your doctor about prescription medications.
When the nerves that run from your arm to your palm are squeezed, it can cause pain in the fingers and wrists, which is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Usually it happens from repetitive motions, but there are other factors that can put you at risk.
The best ways to treat carpal tunnel is through exercise, physical therapy and the short-term use of pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
Some types of joint pain are not related to arthritis. This is called non-arthritis joint pain. Usually it’s caused by tendinitis, which is inflammation around the tendons. It can be painful to get moving.
The best treatment is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Stop all activities that aggravate the joint, and talk to your doctor if you’re not feeling better within a week.
Most types of pain are not a sign of a serious condition but rather a way of your body telling you that it needs rest or attention. Don’t let pain or discomfort stop you from being active, though! Being physically fit is one of the best ways to avoid pain. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to treat your pain and safely be active.