Pain as you age isn’t always “Normal”

Written by: Heather Holbrook, DPT

Remember when you were “young?”  Remember when you experienced a pain you did something about it?  You weren’t willing to settle for pain being something you just need to live with, especially if it impacted your performance with your job, sports, or activities you enjoyed doing.  As we age, it is commonly thought that pain comes with the territory. But what if it didn’t have to?  What if you consulted with your physician, occupational therapist or physical therapist about a nagging ache you have had in your shoulder when you brush your hair?  Or the pain you have in your hip when you go on a walk with your friend?  All pain is different. However, when it begins to impact your quality of life, we encourage you to do something about it.  Early intervention can be key.

Who can help?

  •  YOU!  There are ways to be proactive as you age to prevent those stiff and achy joints.  Most of these can be done from the comfort of your own home!
    • Strength training-Low impact options in a pool or you can grab some weights!
    • Balance training-Tai chi, Yoga
    • Stretching-Good flexibility optimizes function and improves joint health
    • Drinking enough water-Typically 6 to8 glasses of water per day should do the trick
    • Getting enough sleep-It is typically recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep
    • Eating Healthy
    • Taking vitamins and medications-as prescribed/recommended by your physician.
    • Regular health check ups-Don’t miss those annual appointments!
  •  Physical and Occupational Therapists:
    • Therapists will perform a detailed evaluation listening to your concerns and goals.
    • Physical and Occupational Therapy can help customize a strength, balance, and stretching program in addition to offering activity modification and pain management.

Of course, there are certain pains that are not normal and should be addressed right away.  Is the pain severe?  Did the pain start suddenly (injury)?  Is the area of pain swollen, warm, or red?  Do you have chest pain or other signs of a heart attack or stroke (  If you experience these symptoms, consult with your physician or seek immediate medical care.

If you are interested in talking with a Physical or Occupational Therapist about your aches and pains, consider reaching out to our therapists at Goodcare AtHome Rehab to start on your journey to healthy aging.  Call us at 605-231-2490 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our therapists located in Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux City, IA, Omaha, NE, or Des Moines, IA.

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