If you’ve ever spent some time with older adults, like your grandparents, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the line “whatever you do, don’t get old.” Half joke, half advice, it’s a testament to the pain that can accompany aging.
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For many adults, both young and old, pain is a part of daily life. While the young can feel pain just as much as their parents and grandparents, the tendency is for people to experience more pain as they age. It’s the result of the slow deterioration of the bones, muscles, and connective tissues. The good news is that there are a number of relatively simple ways to limit how much of this pain you feel on a daily basis.
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One of the most persistent types of pain associated with aging is back pain. This can be related to a number of age-related issues, particularly the breakdown of the bones and connective tissue comprising the spine. These bones and tissues can begin to weaken over time, making it easier to sustain an injury. Additionally, many middle-aged and older adults spend copious amounts of time sitting, which can put undue stress on the back, particularly the lower back.
Back pain is particularly bothersome because it affects just about any type of movement (e.g., sitting, standing, and even lying in bed). The best way to treat it is through moderate stretching that gently works the back muscles. If back pain is persistent, it’s important to do these exercises regularly, even when you’re not in pain. Additionally, regular exercise can keep muscles in the back loose, making them more resilient. The result could be a stronger back that’s capable of withstanding strains.