If we look for the definition of “age” in a dictionary it is likely to say, “the length of time that a person has lived, or a thing has existed”.
If we then look up the word “aging”, it links it to growing old or older.
I wish it was as simple as this. Often when we think of aging we construct an image of our body breaking down and an expectation to feel aches and pains at some stage – we tell ourselves, and we are told, that it’s inevitable.
I believe that many aspects of aging can be avoided. Yes, there are certainly times when the intervention of a doctor or medical help is definitely required – medical technology has enabled us to have hip and knee replacements when they are really needed (Trends and developments in hip and knee arthroplasty technology), and vaccinations (especially recently) have been a lifesaver for us.
We now live much longer than it was 100 years ago; but what has happened is the quality of our active lives has deteriorated through our sedentary lifestyles, myriad pieces of technology that do work for us and food that is deficient in the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.
Pharmaceutical companies make amazing drugs that help us to manage pain conditions, but often they mask what is really going in in our bodies and do nothing to cure the underlying problem.
Many of the aches and pains we feel in our bodies as we get older is due to the way we have physically used our bodies in earlier years – how we sit, stand and move can make our muscles chronically tight and sore, which puts stress into our joints, nerves and bones.
As humans we have the unique ability to learn new motor skills throughout our lives, whether that’s on the athletic field (breaking world records) or sitting at a desk eight hours a day, staring at a screen and using a computer. This latter example, if we do this day after day, and year after year is very likely to leave us with some pain in our bodies; for some individuals this pain may become chronic and it will be with them for many years.
However the same way we learnt habits that have brought our bodies to a painful condition, can be unlearnt and new, more beneficial movement habits can take their place. We can find ease of movement again and rediscover those activities that we used to do and find enjoyment in them again.
Taking responsibility for how we use our bodies daily means that it is possible to avoid aches and pains.
It does not have to be inevitable that aging brings limited movement and chronic pain.