‘Your aches and pains are just because you are getting old…. and you just have to live with it!’
Do you have aches and pains?
And have you been told something like this before?
There is so much information out there that draws attention to the ‘bad things’ that can happen throughout life.
Arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis & the risk of breaking a hip if you fall over…… the list goes on.
But not all aches and pains occur because of something bad, the truth is, we all get the occasional twinge. It happens to everyone, especially when you are a bit older, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to differentiate between normal aches, and a pain that may be a sign of something more serious; and that is what
Physiotherapists are good at.
We provide an assessment and ask questions to make sure there is nothing more serious to worry about, and if needed we will refer you back to your doctor.
So what can you do for that occasional twinge, or those ‘normal’ aches and pains?
The good news… there is help, without needing to take medication or have surgery.
We all get some wrinkles and grey hairs; getting older is a normal part of life. Some would even say the ‘salt & pepper’ look is a bit trendy these days; at least I hope it is when I look in the mirror. Just like we see changes on the outside, we all get ‘wrinkles and grey hairs’ on the inside as well. The thing is, changes on the inside are usually referred to as degenerative, or ‘wear & tear’, which draws an association with something being abnormal, or something wrong. However, in reality, there are many cases where this degeneration is in fact normal.
So if aches and pains are a normal part of life, what is the answer to try and manage them?
Regular relaxed movement is a good place to start. Muscles and joints like to move. ‘If you don’t use it you lose it’ is a classic phrase that really does sum up what happens with your body. So if your body is designed to move, then movement can be the simplest answer to address some of those aches and pains. It may not take away every pain, but it can help to keep the joints oiled, muscles strong and your body healthy, and therefore make it easier for you to manage the things you want to do on a daily basis.
In fact, if you have experienced pain for a long time, latest research suggests that exercise through movement is more effective at reducing pain than taking medication. And it’s not all about types of exercise that makes you puff or sweat. You can often achieve a lot more with gentle and regular movement through the day. It can be as simple as standing up from a chair so you are not sitting for too long, or going for a leisurely walk. Maybe performing some gentle exercises or stretches each day.
Pacing activities around home is another good option, whereby you break up tasks into smaller chunks rather than trying to complete the activity all at once.
These strategies can all be helpful to try and reduce your aches and pains.
So if aches and pains are impacting on your life, a Physiotherapist can help.
We are experts a getting people moving without increasing pain.
We recognise that everyone is different, and will set out a treatment plan that is specific to your needs, so that you get the most out of movement.
So let’s get you moving today!
Matthew Ash, myPhysioSA Senior Associate Physiotherapist Mount Barker, Summit Health Centre and ISC