Bone pain in aging people is a common problem that men and women experience all over the world as they cross the age of 40. It can surface in any body part such as the neck, lower back, shoulder, or even nerve and many times, people ignore it thinking that it is a part of aging. Well, it is true that bone pain is a part of aging but it is also true that it is not something that should be ignored. It should be taken seriously and not brushed aside with self-medication or quiet suffering of the pain. Otherwise, it would turn chronic and affect the quality of life by completely hindering movement.
Timely consultation with an orthopedic surgeon is a must and if someone is in the aging group, he or she must know the reasons that lead to bone pain as they grow old.
- Wear and tear of joint cartilage: The bones have cartilage (tough elastic tissues) on their ends that produce a liquid called synovial fluid that keeps the joints lubricated. It supports the bones and provides them a cushion of sorts so that they can move properly and do not rub against each other. However, as one age, these cartilages become weak due to wear and tear, which slows down the production of the lubricating fluid. This leads to direct rubbing between the bones against each other and it causes pain, inflammation, and joint stiffness. This condition is called arthritis and affects the joints severely.
- Inactive lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle is the most common reason for people experiencing joint and bone problems such as frozen shoulder, back pain, and the like. Inactivity and sitting in the same position for long hours causes the joints to become stiff and also prevents the body from getting adequate sun exposure, which is a must for the body to manufacture vitamin D. It also causes the body to gain weight resulting in a high BMI (body mass index). A high BMI means the individual is overweight and this additional weight puts a strain on the joints. This makes them swell, leading to pain and discomfort. Therefore, one should try to maintain an active lifestyle and refrain from sitting in the same position for long hours.
- Hormonal changes: A change in hormones, in men as well as women, is one prime reason for bone pain. In aging men, the gradual slump in sex hormones like testosterone causes the bones to lose density and as a result, they become fragile. The same holds true for women. When they reach the menopause stage, their bone tissues begin to lose minerals and calcium. Thus, they become brittle leading to a condition called osteoporosis.
Therefore, as soon as one crosses the age of forty or starts experiencing pain in the joints or bones, one should perceive it as a wake-up call. It is time to start caring for the bones and joints and it can be done through exercise, a nutritious diet rich in calcium, and regular bone checkup. Also, one should follow the instructions prescribed by an orthopedist, if any. This will keep the bones in good shape and one can age smoothly without facing any bone- or joint-related problems.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!