Four Myths About Pain And Aging

Below is a great little list of some common myths about pain and aging. It’s taken from the great work done by David Butler and Lorimer Mosely from the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute.


Myth 1:  Pain is inevitable with ageing. Contrary to popular belief, including among many medical professionals, this is not true. Different illnesses affect us at different times of our lives and these may accumulate over time and lead to more surgical procedures as we age but people over 60 have no more migraines, no more back pain, no more neck pain than younger people have.

Myth 2: If you have some pain now, then you will have worse pain later. This is not true either. Pain comes and goes in older people just like it does in younger people. Even though X-Rays and scans may show things such as narrowing of joint spaces, this has NO relation to increased pain. These are age changes and more age does not equal more pain.

Myth 3: Toughing it out makes it easier to tolerate.  Some people just think ‘I’ll grin and bear it!’ This might be true for a while, but we know that it doesn’t make anything easier in the long run and being stoic can lead to depression, which in turn increases pain. Generally, the longer you leave a problem untreated, the more complex it becomes and the harder it can be to treat. So, you don’t have to ‘grin and bear it’, ‘suck it up’ or accept it as part of ageing – seek help from an up to date health professional, just as you would if you were younger.

Myth 4: There is nothing you can do for it. This is not true! There are practical and effective treatment options that that work no matter what age you are. Manual and physical therapy has been shown over and over to be a safe and effective treatment option for older people. Movement and education is the key!


So, just remember age is only a number, it is not an excuse!


A great resource by the same authors is a book called Explain Pain. I highly recommend you get your hands on it!