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What Are Normal Aches and Pains as You Age?

Normal aches and pains caused by aging include muscle and joint stiffness in the neck, lower back, and knees. Learn what’s normal and what isn’t

As you age, it’s normal to suffer from aches and pains in your joints and muscles as you lose muscle mass and bone density. Normal aches and pains caused by aging include:

  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Lower back pain
  • Knee pain or stiffness
  • Wrist pain or swelling
  • Elbow pain 
  • Pelvic pain
  • Headache
  • Heartburn

Age-related aches and pains can typically be managed at home. However, some aches may be a sign that something is wrong. Whatever the underlying reason, early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of age-related diseases.

10 tips for preventing age-related aches and pains

Aging doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant. You can prevent age-related aches and pains my making the following lifestyle modifications:

  • Do strength training. Perform weight-bearing exercises to improve muscle mass and prevent bone loss. Ask your doctor about which exercises are safe for you. Try low-impact workouts such as swimming, yoga, and Pilates to avoid putting stress on your joints.
  • Stretch regularly. Stretching exercises improve your range of motion and help relieve stiffness. Stretch before and after your workouts to improve your exercise performance and recovery.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can put more pressure on your joints and lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Make sure that you get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. Eat plenty of whole grains, lean meat, fish, and vegetables. Avoid sugary, fatty, salty, and processed foods.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can worsen and even trigger aches and pains such as migraines. Follow good sleep hygiene practices.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can worsen muscle stiffness and trigger headaches. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. 
  • Take supplements if needed. If you cannot meet your dietary requirements through diet alone, you may consider taking nutritional supplements. However, consult your doctor before taking any supplements, including herbal supplements.
  • Manage stress. Stress is linked to various chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and migraines. Practice meditation or relaxation techniques to lower your stress levels and stay active.
  • Go for regular health checkups. Regular health checkups are important even more as you age. Going to the doctor regularly can help you detect health conditions early so that treatment can be started.
  • Take medications as prescribed. Do not experiment with your medications, alter doses, or stop taking them without consulting your doctor.
  • SLIDESHOW

    Exercises for Seniors: Tips for Core, Balance, Stretching
    See Slideshow

    Medically Reviewed on 3/30/2022

    References

    Image Source: iStock Images

    https://www.ucihealth.org/blog/2019/02/aging-aches-pains

    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/health-essentials/dealing-with-common-aches-and-pains-as-we-age-with-dr-donald-ford

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