Four Myths about pain and ageing
Myth 1:  Pain is inevitable with ageing. This is not true but most people including some health professionals think it is. Someone said to me last week –“what do you expect, you are in your 60s”. Sure  – there may be a few more illnesses and surgical procedures but people over 60 have no more migraines,  no more back pain, no more neck pain than younger people have. In fact, the oldies may have less pain!

Myth 2: If you have some pain now, then you will have worse pain later. This is not true either. Pain comes and goes in older people just like it does in younger people. Even though X-Rays and scans may show things such as narrowing of joint spaces, this has NO relation to increased pain. These are age changes and more age does not equal more pain. Rest easy!

Myth 3: Toughing it out makes it easier to tolerate. Some of us oldies think: ‘I’ll grin and bear it!’ This might be true for a while, but we know that it doesn’t make anything easier in the long run and being stoic can lead to depression, which in turn increases pain more in oldies than it does in youngies. So you don’t have to ‘grin and bear it’, ‘suck it up’ or accept it as part of ageing – seek help from an up to date Physiotherapist, just as you would if you were younger.

Myth 4: There is nothing you can do for it. This is not true! There are treatments that work for youngies, middlies, oldies and ultra-oldies, such as treatment for chronic pain combined with contextual activity exposure. Knowledge and movement are essential.

So – age is only a number, it is not an excuse.

A few more good things about growing older  
You don’t sweat as much as those smellier youngsters, if you’re bald you can avoid hairdressers, (imagine the money you save on shampoo and product), you can easily see the good and ignore the bad, you problem solve better than youngies because your brain is better networked, you want less, and you have fewer allergies.   Gosh- I can’t wait to get older!

Next time someone complains to you about their back or knee and says “it’s just old age”, ask them whether their knee or back is older than the rest of their body.

Thanks to David Butler, Neuro Orthopaedic Institute, Noigroup