Is ageing really to blame for pain?

Well firstly, what is ageing?

“Ageing is the process during which structural and functional changes accumulate in an organism as a result of the passage of time.”

“The changes manifest as a decline from the organism’s peak fertility and physiological functions until death.” (Nature Portfolio)

Is ageing really to blame?

What does ageing look like?

Visible signs of ageing can come in the form of wrinkles and grey hairs for example. What is key to remember though, is that just because our skin and hair can appear a bit different over time, doesn’t mean they don’t remain fully functional. They continue to serve their purpose.

The same applies to the rest of your body including your joints. You may have received an MRI or Xray report which mentions things like degenerative changes in a specific area. This isn’t really a diagnosis, It just tells you that these areas have aged to some degree, which is to be expected as we get older.

We can experience pain in such areas. However, rarely does this mean that ageing is actually to blame for our discomforts. Is ageing really to blame?

For example, you could have a one sided issue like one knee that has severe osteoarthritis and the other that has only mild changes. This clearly isn’t an issue relating to just ageing. This is more an indication of how your body is choosing to move. Osteoarthritis is commonly considered an “age-related” problem, but this isn’t fully true. A one sided problem for instance tells us that the affected side is being overloaded, but why? Both knees should be ageing at the same rate. Age is clearly not the so-called ‘cause’ and therefore, is not, in isolation, to blame.

What do we look for as ageing progresses?

In physiotherapy, we want to consider WHY the knee has gotten to a point where it is severely arthritic. Addressing the WHY is often key to relieving you of these typically unwanted symptoms of pain, stiffness and functional loss. If you do happen to receive a ‘diagnosis’ of osteoarthritis, this being the most common example, no need to write yourself off and succumb to a defeatist mentality that nothing can be done.

Help yourself slow the ageing process.

Our body does inevitably change as we get older. Our levels of hydration and elasticity will reduce over time. However, regular movement is one of the most important ways to prolong our inherent bounciness. Our body operates on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. If you invest a little time each day to take all the joints through all of their ranges of motion, you will help to preserve optimal health of each joint, which will serve you well especially in to your latter years.

So, is ageing really to blame? It’s time to let go of the self limiting belief that ageing itself is to ‘blame’ for any aches and pains that we may have. There is always something we can do about it! One enjoyable way to keep yourself mobile and feeling youthful is to participate in regular movement. Perhaps in the form of a yoga or Pilates class?

We understand that also that some people may need a little more specific input to help restore their body’s function in some way. This is where Physiotherapy can be truly invaluable. Our team can empower you to get on top of any musculoskeletal issues that you may have, allowing you to reach your own desired potential.

Would you like to be proactive with your health and join one of our physio-led Pilates and/or yoga classes?

Alternatively, If you’d like to be seen for Physiotherapy to help to get to the root of your problem, give us a call on 01560 483200. or alternatively, book online at: 

References:

Book: “Unravelling: Letting go – getting well” by Philip M. Greenfield

UNRAVELLING – Letting Go Getting Well. (theunravellingbook.com)