An estimated 113 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain, and millions more experience acute, or short-term, pain. Some kinds of pain are more common during certain phases of your life, including those that occur during your older years.
Age-related pain can strike anywhere in your body. Fortunately, there are many preventive management practices for age-related pain, dependent on your specific needs. Here are five ways to prevent and/or manage your age-related pain.
Staying active is your number one defense against pain and stiffness in your muscles and joints. Making moderate exercise a part of your daily life will keep your muscles and joints strong and fluid for all of your other activities.
No marathons are necessary to maintain your skeletal, muscular, and joint health. Moderate exercise for 30 minutes to an hour each day will suffice. This is especially true for those with arthritis pain who can’t engage in overly strenuous activity.
Occupational therapy is a great resource for orthopedic conditions and can be very effective for easing age-related pain that occurs when you’re engaging in daily activities. Therapists target your day-to-day performance problems, identify valued activities, and apply evidence-based therapies to help you reach your goals. Occupational therapy is a core component in pain rehabilitation programs for those with daily mobility concerns.
The basis of a chiropractic system of care is manipulating your body’s alignment to improve function, relieve pain, and assist your body in healing itself. In addition, the American College of Physicians’ low back pain guidelines recommends spinal manipulation – along with acupuncture, massage, and heat – for the relief of lower back pain.
Although spinal manipulation is the mainstay of chiropractic care, treatment may also include postural and exercise education as well as ergonomic training in how to sit, stand, and walk to limit skeletal, joint, and muscular strain
Look for a chiropractor that offers upper cervical care as a part of their approach to age-related pain. This therapeutic technique targets interference in the upper neck where your brain stem sits, making it easier for your body and brain stem to communicate with one another concerning automatic functions.
Diet Supportive of Pain Management
You can actually eat to manage pain, especially if inflammation plays a role in your age-related pain. An anti-inflammatory diet includes replacing saturated fats with healthy ones like olive oil and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. This diet can ease the symptoms of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, and nerve pain.
Additionally, vitamin C is essential for strong, pain-free joints, as it helps build collagen. Women aged 14 to 18 and older should take 65mg a day while men aged 19 and over need 90mg. Good dietary sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, strawberries, red peppers, and broccoli.
Soaking in warm water to ease the symptoms of health conditions is an ancient practice. Put simply, hydrotherapy loosens your joints, reduces pain, and has a lingering effect after the period of immersion.
Soaking in a natural or man-made spa reduces inflammation, increases circulation, and decreases the force of gravity on your joints, providing full-body support for your limbs and skeletal system. Go warm, not hot. And there’s no need to soak longer than 20 minutes for maximum effects.