“I am just getting old” is a Common phrase I hear a lot, and it is the excuse given to help patients cope with their aches and pains. I hate to break it to people but getting old does not have to equal increased pain and decreased function. Look at Jack LaLanne, not only is he a Chiropractor, he has always been very healthy. He is as old as they get and he still has his youth and vitality. LaLanne is one example of how proper lifestyle and health care can lead to many happy quality years.
Why do people get pain as they age? The simple answer is their health is not maintained. By not having good posture, not taking care of injures and not getting proper health care all lead to daily micro traumas. These micro traumas build up and sooner or later leads to pain and decreased function. We use our bodies day in and day out with millions of motions through out our joints and what do we do to maintain them, nothing. It is the equivalent to driving your car 100,000 miles with only putting gas in it. Your car would not last past 30,000 with out maintenance so why do we expect our bodies to the same?
Unfortunately we wait till something go horribly wrong to seek health care, like throwing your back out, having a disc herniation, severe pain etc. The equivalent of this is driving your car with out oil changes and letting the engine fail. This sounds crazy, but it is exactly what some people do with their bodies. Not only is it more harmful it is also more expensive. We were all tout in drivers education or by our Dads that proper car maintenance cuts costs and keeps a car running like new, but we don’t know how to apply this concept to our own health.
The increasing aches and pains as age progresses is the same as that engine that never gets an oil change. Sure we can still function but not as good as we use too. That engine just doesn’t work great one day and then die the next, it takes time with increased wear and decreased performance that is noticeable. How can we fix our health?
Unfortunately we can not buy spare parts for our bodies (yet) so we really need to take care of them. That would imply to the average person proper health maintenance is very important. There are a few simple fixes we all can make so when we do get older we do not increase pain levels.
To start off with fix your problems you have now. If that means seeing a chiropractor to fix and imbalances in the body great. If that means fixing your diet to a better one even better. Like the old saying you are what you eat, so eat good foods with a balanced diet. Unfortunately this is the expensive part of the plan. It is like replacing the dead engine in the poorly maintained car. Not only is it expensive, lifestyle changes may need to happen so future problems can be prevented.
Once the big problems have been fixed, learn how to use your body correctly so the injuries don’t happen again. A health care professional such as a chiropractor, physical therapist or personal trainer can show you proper posture, lifting and exercises to improve your function. if all the correct changes are made then maintaining health is easy, just as easy as driving your car to a Quick Lube for a $30 oil change.
The take home message is aging does not equal pain. Poor lifestyle choices and not dealing with aches and pains early on grow into big problems later down the road. I encourage all readers to seek out health. Go visit a chiropractor and make sure they have your health in mind, not just their pocket book. Chiropractors do great work fixing the underlying problems that get covered up with pain killers. Why cover up the problem if it can be fixed. All my patients at Issaquah Chiropractic and Wellness get the care they need to function better, and the education to help keep pain away and increase their overall function.