Do you believe pain and neuropathy are natural parts of aging?

Despite your youthful heart and enthusiasm for life, the aches and pains you feel getting out of the bed in the morning may refuse to let you forget your age. Are you destined to experience the pain and discomfort of neuropathy from now on? Is this what it feels like to get older? Keep reading to find out what these wellness enthusiasts believe when it comes to pain management and neuropathy.

Dr. Sumeet Kumar

Dr. Sumeet Kumar

Doctor at .

Three Perspectives on Neuropathy and What You Can Do About it

The Medical Perspective

Certain types of pain and neuropathy can become more common as we age. This can be due to various factors, such as the degeneration of bodily tissues, accumulated damage from years of physical stress, and age-related diseases like arthritis and diabetes, which can cause neuropathic pain. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean we [can’t] do anything about it.

Medical advances have led to various treatments and therapies for pain and neuropathy. These can range from pain medications, physical therapy, and alternative treatments like acupuncture to more advanced interventions like neurostimulation. Lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage or prevent these conditions.

Psychological Perspective

People can shape their health outcomes by adopting positive attitudes and proactive behaviors. Increasing evidence shows the impact of mindset on pain perception and management. Techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and stress management can significantly improve quality of life, even in chronic pain or neuropathy.

Therefore, while aging might be associated with these conditions, our mindset and psychological strategies can significantly modify the perception and experience of these conditions.

Holistic Perspective

From a holistic or integrative health perspective, while it’s understood that the risk of health issues like pain and neuropathy can increase with age, our lifestyle choices significantly affect our health trajectories. Nutrition, physical activity, sleep quality, stress management, and social connections are critical.

Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, practicing regular physical activity tailored to one’s capabilities, ensuring sufficient restorative sleep, managing stress through mind-body practices, and maintaining strong social connections are all parts of an integrative approach to healthy aging.

By addressing the root causes of disease, this approach can often prevent or alleviate conditions like pain and neuropathy. Therefore, while they may be associated with aging, they are not inevitable, and much can be done to prevent or manage them.

Deniz Efe

Deniz Efe

Founder of .

Managing Pain and Neuropathy as You Age is Possible

No, I do not believe pain and neuropathy are natural parts of aging, and nothing can be done about it. While the natural process of aging can lead to the onset of some aches and pains, several lifestyle changes and treatments can help reduce or eliminate these issues.

One way to manage pain associated with age is by staying physically active. Regular physical activity helps keep our joints and muscles strong, reduces inflammation, improves circulation, releases endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Additionally, certain forms of exercise like yoga and tai chi are beneficial for improving balance, coordination, posture, and flexibility, which can help reduce the risk of falls associated with aging.

In addition to exercise, several drugs are available that can help manage pain, such as over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as prescription drugs such as opioids or tricyclic antidepressants. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed for managing minor aches and pains.

When it comes to neuropathy, there is no single cause, so treatment will vary depending on what is causing your specific type of nerve damage. For example, if diabetes is the cause, managing blood sugar levels through diet control may help improve symptoms. In contrast, if chemotherapy is the cause, medications may be prescribed to help protect the nerves from further damage. Physical therapy may also be beneficial in helping restore sensation or strength in patients with neuropathy.

Jaden Oh

Jaden Oh

Chief of Marketing at .

Pain and Neuropathy Are Not Unavoidable

No, I do not believe pain and neuropathy are inevitable in aging. While age-related factors can lead to an increased risk of pain and neuropathy, these are not conditions you must accept as a normal part of aging.

With the right combination of lifestyle changes, diet, and medical treatment, it is possible to reduce the signs and symptoms of pain and neuropathy.

I have seen first-hand how lifestyle changes, such as increasing activity levels, a balanced diet, and stress reduction can all help improve the quality of life for elderly individuals.

I believe that the proper medical treatments can help reduce pain and neuropathy and improve the overall quality of life.

While pain and neuropathy can be challenging, they do not have to be viewed as an inherent part of aging.

Elisha Peterson

Elisha Peterson

Anesthesiologist and Pain Medicine Physician at .

Exercise Helps Combat Aging and Neuropathy

Pain and neuropathy are not a part of natural aging. As we age, we lose muscle and bone density. However, the rate of this decline is adjustable by regular physical activity.

Regular activity decreases the risk of injury and improves recovery time. The chemicals released during physical activity positively restore the nervous system. The amount and type of exercise do not matter. All work towards slowing the aging process.

A regular exercise regimen, including physical therapy, has decreased pain and improved function for those with pain and neuropathy.

Michaela Ramirez

Michaela Ramirez

Founder of .

A Healthy Lifestyle Mitigates Pain and Inflammation

Pain and neuropathy may worsen with age because other body functions decline, such as accumulated inflammation, micro-traumas, or deconditioning.

You can be young with neuropathy or old without neuropathy, so a lot has to do with your regular lifestyle, exposures, or injuries. You can generally mitigate pain by adopting healthy behaviors to reduce inflammation, such as eating less processed foods, being more physically active, and managing your stress response.

Gary Kirwan

Gary Kirwan

Founder of .

Lifestyle Choices Can Improve Health

Pain and neuropathy do not have to be accepted as what we all must experience as we age. They might be caused and aggravated by lifestyle choices, which can lead to “Inflammaging.”

This means we can avoid chronic inflammation as we age by adopting lifestyle choices like managing our blood glucose levels, gut health, and weight through diet and exercise. Healthy social interactions should also be considered to address the psychoneuroimmunology aspects of chronic inflammation.

Susman Rajan

Susman Rajan

CEO-Co-Founder at .

Physiotherapy To Address Pain And Neuropathy

The belief that pain and neuropathy are natural parts of aging and that nothing can be done about them is not entirely accurate. Muscle mass and flexibility change as we age, but pain and neuropathy are not necessarily irreversible or untreatable.

Pain or neuropathy can affect people of all ages, including those with degenerative conditions, nerve damage, or underlying medical conditions. Despite this, certain types of pain or neuropathy may be more likely to occur with age due to factors such as wear and tear on the body or age-related conditions.

Physiotherapy is vital in addressing pain and neuropathy, regardless of age. In addition to manual therapy and therapeutic exercises, physiotherapists use other evidence-based techniques to assess and treat musculoskeletal conditions, including pain and neuropathy.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.