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I’m Over 50 - Is Chronic Pain Normal?

I’m Over 50 - Is Chronic Pain Normal?

Anywhere from 11% to 40% of Americans live with chronic pain, with the amount of reported chronic pain increasing with age.

Board-certified family physician Lawrence Scott Wilner, DO, at Summit Primary Care doesn’t believe we should accept chronic pain as normal and unavoidable. As pain management specialists, our goal is to help patients of all ages find relief from discomfort and pain and improve their quality of life.

Many chronic pain conditions that sneak up on us in our 50s can be managed. If they’re caught and treated early, you can often prevent more serious complications.

Common causes of chronic pain in midlife

Osteoarthritis is the “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage between your bones breaks down or becomes damaged. It causes joint pain or stiffness. Options for preventing further pain include increasing daily physical activity, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, or Dr. Wilner can prescribe prescription pain relievers for severe cases.

Your joints can ache in your 50s and beyond even without an osteoarthritis diagnosis from normal wear-and-tear or as a result of a previous injury that didn’t heal properly.

Osteoporosis is the weakening of the bones and commonly affects women over age 50 when their bodies stop making estrogen and their bone density decreases. Walking and upper-body strength-training help reduce your risk for osteoporosis, as can increasing vitamin D and calcium.

Why is age associated with more pain?

There are many reasons why people experience more pain as we age. You’re more vulnerable to injury as your body ages, which means activities that you used to do without pain may start to cause it.

The health of the hard and soft tissues in your body declines naturally throughout the aging process. The discs in your spine lose hydration and become more brittle, making older adults more likely to experience back pain.

Whatever the cause of chronic pain in midlife, many people tend to reduce their daily physical activity to avoid triggers, but limited activity can increase the disability and weaken the muscles over time. 

That’s why it’s so important to reach out to Dr. Wilner during the early stages of chronic pain to find an effective treatment to help you remain active. 

Tips to reduce chronic pain

At Summit Primary Care, we specialize in a wide range of conditions that cause chronic pain and offer a variety of pain management solutions, including:

To learn more about the cause of your chronic pain and to find an effective treatment, schedule an appointment at one of our three Summit Primary Care locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, Colorado.

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