Far too many of my clients over 40 tell me that the pain they experience — in their shoulders, knees, hips and back — is just a natural part of getting older.
This is a complete fallacy.
The human body is like a classic car. Of course, most of the cars that came off the line in the ’50s and ’60s are rusting in a junkyard now. But there are also beautiful vehicles that have been maintained with care and attention that are in gorgeous shape and will last decades longer than new cars coming out now. Cars do not fall apart because they’re inherently broken, but rather, because they haven’t been properly maintained over the years.
When it comes to pain and dysfunction, how you maintain your body is far more important than how old it is. What most people experience as a “natural” breakdown of the body is not normal at all. It is the result of misusing the joints, muscles, and connective tissue. This results in chronic musculoskeletal pain — sometimes that’s something diagnosable, like herniated discs or a breakdown of cartilage in the knee, but sometimes it’s just plain old achiness.
Yes, more of us experience these issues as we age, but that’s not because of aging itself. It’s because the longer we misuse the body, the less ability the tissue will have to sustain the stress.
What do I mean by misusing the body? Put as simply as possible: Through our routine postural habits, we create muscular imbalances. These are places where one muscle takes over a job it’s not meant to do, or the connective tissue of a joint is relied upon for support in a way it can’t manage.
The bad news: If you experience routine aches and pains, you’ve been suffering needlessly. The good news: Your pain is actually relatively simple to fix by addressing underlying causes. You just need to identify where your muscular imbalances are, strengthen the muscles that are underworking, and calm the muscles that are overworking. It’s that simple.
I acknowledge that this sounds too good to be true, but I have seen it happen over and over. I have personally helped someone slated for knee surgery get pain-free in his knees, helped a woman with bone spurs and arthritis develop full overhead mobility in the shoulders, offered an alternative to physical therapy for a mom with organ prolapse, and alleviated low-back pain more times than I can count. These aren’t outliers! These are standard, typical results my clients see.
No, I am not opposed to surgery or medical intervention where necessary. I will never attempt to take the place of your doctor. But if you have your doctor’s support in exploring a non-surgical option, personal training may be an incredibly effective route. It is even a good pre-surgical option! Again, your body doesn’t simply fail for no reason. Unless you address the underlying cause of your loss of cartilage, bone-on-bone, bone spurs, or ligament damage, you may simply have a different issue (or the same issue again) after surgery.
If you’re interested in understanding what movement patterns might be creating your pain and how to address them, I would love to invite you to a free, no-obligation call with me. We’ll talk through what’s going on for you, what you’ve tried before, and 3 simple exercises I think will help you. If you feel confident enough to train yourself, use my suggestions as a free gift. If you would rather I do the planning for you and keep an eye on your form, we can talk about what working with me would look like.
If you’re interested in understanding what movement patterns might be creating your pain and how to address them, schedule a free, no-obligation call. We’ll talk through what’s going on for you, what you’ve tried before, and 3 simple exercises I think will help you. If you feel confident enough to train yourself, use my suggestions as a free gift. If you would rather I do the planning for you and keep an eye on your form, we can talk about what working with me would look like.
Kelly Bryant is a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-200), Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT), NASM Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), and Pilates & Barre Instructor. Whew! That was a mouthful.
She is passionate about helping men and women through every stage of life with her proprietary method integrating posture, flexibility, exercise, and the nervous system.
Prior to quitting her job to travel the world in 2016, she worked at health & fitness startup, Noom, where she led content and community marketing efforts and soaked up everything she could learn about psychology and behavior change.
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