Taking the Pain Out of Aging

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As we get older, our bodies are more prone to ache from the wear and tear of once resilient joints.  But, some simple treatment options can keep you moving through the years.

69-year-old Fred Cooke has always enjoyed being physically active - from playing sports in high school to years of leisure golf and tennis, he stayed on the move until pain took over.  "I would try things that I used to do and I was not able to do them," says Cooke, "so my lifestyle kind of took an abrupt change."

For nearly four years, simple day-to-day movements would leave Cooke hurting.  He says, "If I would take more than about eight or ten steps my back would hurt. I couldn't sit for a long period of time. I'd go to church, but it was hard to sit in the pew, hard to stand up when they sing."

Life expectancy in the United States is at a record high of about 78 years of age, but with living longer, we are more susceptible to medical issues down the road.  Dr. Craig Morton with Center for Orthopaedics says, "Because they live longer, their joints have a higher chance of feeling the wear and tear of daily activities, things they like to do."

Dr. Morton says it's not a good decision to lessen activities because of the pain that comes along with it.  "That can worsen muscle atrophy or muscle loss and as we lose muscle," says Dr. Morton, "we lose support to that joint, so now we're just advancing the wear and tear process."

To fix the problem, the solution can be as simple as medication, dietary changes, physical therapy or what Cooke had for his pain: steroid injections in the lower back.  "Ultimately, I burned the nerves that supply sensation to his joints," says Dr. Morton, "so he felt no pain."

Cooke had the procedure six months ago and says his results have been great.  "I have had no pain. It's been about six months," says Cook, e"I've played a little tennis, played a little golf and I have no pain."

*To find out more about joint and back pain treatments, call Center for Orthopedics at 721-7CFO.