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What is "normal" musculoskeletal aging?

It’s almost ironic that when we are younger, we would do anything to be older while when we are older, we would do almost anything to be younger. While there are some telltale signs of normal aging that most of us can see including the ominous gray hair, there are other changes going on within our body that we can’t see. Most of these changes occur without us ever noticing them and can only be seen with x-rays or other imaging study.  

As we grow older, we may also notice that some of our joints and parts of our spine may feel stiffer or may even began to become painful unexplainably. For years, many patients would bring this complaint to their primary physician to only be told “it’s just normal aging” or “you’re just getting older”. How can we tell when the pain, aches, and stiffness we feel is just the product of aging or when it may be something else going on? Where do we draw the line from normal aging to pathology? What also can further complicate things are that pharmaceutical companies will bring out new medications or supplements that are targeted to stop or reverse normal age-related changes. The best example I can think of would be while I worked in the pharmacy while in chiropractic school. One of the more common (and expensive) medications we were able to dispense was Androgel and other testosterone medications used to treat patients with low testosterone. While there is different pathologic conditions that can result in low testosterone, one of the normal effects of aging in men is a gradual decrease in testosterone as we age.

Please join me for my next webinar on April 14, 2021 at 7 pm to discuss normal changes in the musculoskeletal system and body associated with increased aging.  Click here to register.