As we age, the wear and tear on our bodies bring on different pains. In our 60’s and 70’s, you can anticipate something hurting, but there are ways to manage your body’s changes and reduce the level of pain produced by certain elderly conditions. Osteoarthritis tends to be one change those over 60 experience. This is the “wear and tear” type of arthritis that comes from using your joints over and over. More than 12 million Americans 65 and older have it.
To reduce pain and to feel better, you need to get moving and keep your weight in check. An active lifestyle helps. Just pick activities that are easy on your joints – like swimming. When you are in your 60’s and 70’s, a stationary lifestyle is riskier than the risk of a physical injury.
- Choose an exercise program that includes weight training for muscles and bones and aerobic activity for heart health.
- Slow, gentle stretching can improve flexibility and help with stiffness. Strength exercises lessen pain by easing the burden on joints.
- Try to stick to a healthy weight. It will keep extra stress off your joints so you feel better. If you’re not sure what weight is best for you, ask your doctor.
- Over-the-counter medication may help with pain and inflammation. Check with your doctor first if you take other medicines or have other medical problems. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe something to help.
Growing old doesn’t have to be painful. There are simple exercises or activities that can help you keep your body moving which in turn will help you feel better. As always, check with your primary care physician in advance of starting any exercise program. If you have a question about exercise and aging, ask our own Nurse Gina.