August 29, 2019

September is Healthy Aging Month

What are some issues that may affect me as I age?

Back Pain….Back pain is more common the older you get. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. Injuries from accidents or falls, mechanical problems with the back itself (such as ruptured disks or spasms), and certain diseases like arthritis or spinal stenosis can cause back pain. Acute pain, the most common type of back┬ápain, starts quickly and lasts less than 6 weeks. Chronic pain lasts for more than 3 months and is much less common than acute pain.

Joint Pain…Joint pain is often a sign of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, frequently affects older people. In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of protective cartilage on the end of the bones wears away, allowing the bones to rub together. This causes pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. Physical activity, weight management, and medicines can reduce these symptoms. If they continue, a doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery. This surgery involves removing a damaged joint and putting in an artificial one. Hips and knees are replaced most often, but other joints can be replaced as well, such as the shoulders, fingers, ankles, and elbows.

Falls and Fractures….Falls are serious at any age, and breaking a bone after a fall becomes more likely as you age. Among Americans age 65 and older, fall-related injuries are the leading cause of accidental death. Changes in vision and certain medicines increase the risk of falling. As you age, you also lose bone density. For some people, their bones are so fragile that they break under the slightest strain. The good news is that it is never too late to take steps to improve your bone health and prevent falls