Guilderland, NY -How many of you go through this routine in the morning? The alarm goes off so you remove your dental mouth guard or CPAP machine, put on your glasses or contacts, clean your dentures, adjust your hearing aid, put on any necessary braces on your joints and then make sure you changed out your orthotics to the right shoes for the day. Are we all becoming life-size versions of Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head? It seems silly that we have to put on all our parts for the day so our bodies can function and we look presentable to the world. Who is really aging gracefully??? Let’s be honest – aging stinks! (All in humor)
Every day in the clinic I hear “I just can’t do what I used to be able to do” or “Every day something different hurts” or “I love to play tennis but I just can’t do it anymore”. I hear your frustration and I agree that it is maddening. We all just want to go about living doing the same things we love to do. The reality of our aging bodies usually starts affecting us around age 40. So any of you young kids out there (anyone under 40) enjoy whatever pain free days you have left. For all the rest of us, how can we hold onto our inner youth while trying to preserve our Mr. Potato Head parts?
1. Learn about natural ways to alleviate pain and take care of your body. Chiropractic care is one of the best strategies to treat and manage many back and neck conditions. Some of our patients get relief in a few visits but some choose to continue a treatment schedule that helps their specific pain to stay at bay. Our Medical Massage Therapists are all trained and experienced in working with patients in pain. We have many tools and techniques to tailor a plan that works for you!
2. Be realistic about your injuries. Is the damage to a particular joint beyond the body’s ability to heal itself? If you have had multiple orthopedic specialists tell you that you need a knee replacement, then strongly consider getting the surgery. The few months of rehabilitation after surgery will be worth it if it enhances your quality of life.
3. Redefine your capabilities and keep an open mind to trying new activities. Accepting that your body is getting older doesn’t mean that you have to turn into a couch potato. Weather it is playing a sport or putting mulch in your yard, your body may feel more soreness for the next few days than it would have 20+ years ago. You still need to continue moving but you may have to take breaks periodically between long sessions of yard work or house work. Try a new sport that is less aggressive on your body but still provided the social aspects you are looking for.
4. Stay involved in the sports and activities that bring you joy. For example, if you were a competitive athlete, there are still ways to stay involved. Look for an organization or league of similar age group or ability level, volunteer as a coach or mentor for a youth program, look for an opportunity to help organize tournaments or run the time clock, etc.
This aging process may not be anything that we imaged but it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Changing our perspective can enhance the quality of our golden years. As always, if you have questions about this article or want assistance with continuing to live and age with an active lifestyle, we are here to help. Our consultations are always free. Please feel free to contact us at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Please visit our website for more information at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com. We would be happy to be a part of your health care team.
Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the University of the State of New York Education Department. She graduated from Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington, MN in 2003. She is also a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. She holds two Bachelor degrees in Exercise Science and Business Management from Concordia University. While attending Concordia, she was a member of the intercollegiate volleyball, basketball and track teams.
Dr. Kim resides in Guilderland with husband, Mark, and two children, Tristan and Taylor. She graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. She has been a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician for eight years.