Before we discuss the best ways to prevent pain as we get older, I think it’s important to address one of the most common misconceptions in the healthcare world.
Pain is not a NORMAL part of getting older.
Common, not normal. Big difference. You wouldn’t believe how many people come to my office who have accepted pain as part of their life simply because they’ve reached a certain age. I even have friends in their 30’s already starting to normalize their pain due to their age.
The worst part is that this idea is usually encouraged by their doctor. When their myriad of pills and injections don’t work, they begin to suggest that you just have a ‘bad knee’ or ‘bad back’ and it’s something you’ll just have to live with. It’s a message that completely disempowers people and prevents them from enjoying the things that really matter in our life – whether that be time with family and friend or all of our favorite activities.
At its core, Solving Pain With Strength is meant to help adults avoid age-related pain. In order to do that, we first have to understand what causes the pain that we often associate with getting older.
The Root Cause of Age-Related Pain
Simply put, the primary cause of age-related pain is too much impact on a joint over too long a period of time. In math terms:
Impact x Age (time) = Pain
This idea is often hard for people to wrap their head around. It’s easy to visualize a big impact like a fall down the stairs or getting tackled in football. But the impacts that lead to the nagging aches and pains we associate with getting older are usually too small to be noticed at the time they are occurring. It’s why most people can’t point to a single cause of their joint pain or tell you when it started in the first place. It came out of nowhere and gradually got worse and worse.
It’s the cumulative effect of these small impacts over time that is the root cause of age-related pain and that have to addressed if we want to live our life without any limitations.
How To Limit Impact on Your Joints to Avoid Age Related Pain
Improving your movement is THE BEST way to limit impact on your joints and keep active strong and doing what you love – regardless of age. By addressing these three aspects of our movement we can spare ourselves from YEARS of joint pain and will drastically improve how you experience the world around you.
Movement patterns are defined as how we coordinate movements to perform basic tasks like sit, stand, bend forward, lift, etc. Improper movement patterns place more force on our joints which, over time, leads to pain that keeps us from being as active as we would like. Understanding how to hinge, lift, squat, push, pull etc. will save you from YEARS of joint pain and should be taught in every doctor’s office in the country.
How much movement we have at out joints also plays a role in how much impact goes through our joints. Stiff joints can lead to more impact both directly, by limiting our ability to absorb the impact of our movements (leading to more impact on our joints).
Or indirectly, through movement compensations. Your body is crazy smart…if you’re too stiff in one area, your body will find that range of motion somewhere else, usually at the expense of other joints that aren’t meant to take such a big impact (like your knees or back).
Protecting our joints by building strength is the BEST thing you can do to keep active, strong, and doing what you love. The unfortunate truth is that we lose muscle mass as we get older. Which means if we’re not actively trying to build muscle, we are passively losing it. Strong muscles ensure that the impact of our daily life is handled by our muscles and not our joints.
To put it more accurately, pain can be part of getting older if we don’t take care of our bodies. But the take home should be that pain doesn’t have to be part of getting older. By taking steps to limit the impact on our joints through better movement and strength we can keep active, strong, and doing what we love – regardless of age. And the sooner we get started, the better.
Want To Learn More? Watch Dr. Baird Break Down This Weeks Article On YouTube
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Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain
Don’t let back pain keep you from enjoying life. Be sure to check out other some of our other back pain articles for even more help:
- What Causes Lower Back Pain? Treating The Root Cause
- Ten Glute Bridge Progressions To Treat Low Back Pain
- Reasons To STOP Stretching For Lower Back Pain
- What Causes Lower Back Pain? Three Movements To Master
- Causes of Low Back Pain: Three Areas To Strengthen
- Lower Back Pain Causes: How Mobility Issues Can Lead To Back Pain
- Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain
- How To Fix Lower Back Pain: Three Places To Start
- Ten Step Guide To Treating Chronic Lower Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain Solutions: How To Improve Breathing For Less Back Pain
- The Best Low Impact Strength Exercises For Low Back Pain
- The Best Exercise For Low Back Pain You’re Probably Not Doing
- How To Fix Lower Back Pain With The Hinge
- Five Reasons For Lower Back Pain With Your Squat
- How To Solve Lower Back Pain That Comes And Goes
- How Stiff Ankles Can Cause Lower Back Pain
- What Is The Neutral Spine Position
- How To Find And Keep A Neutral Spine Position