Posted On 09 Jun 2013
Pain in oldsters is a serious problem for many of us. It may negatively affect many aspects of life.
Sometimes, regular and appropriate stretching and strength exercise is effective is ameliorating chronic pain. There’s no longer any doubt that meditation and other kinds of “spiritual” exercise are sometimes also very effective.
There’s another remedy that allopathic physicians tend to overlook. I have recently experienced it myself and you may find my story instructive.
My own experience of pain in oldsters is what I have taken to calling “migratory pains.” It was over a year ago that I first began to notice them. Because I am generally healthy, I initially paid as little attention to them as possible.
Sometimes they seemed to be located in muscles. Since I do strength training, I figured that I had somehow strained a muscle without noticing it at the time. Sometimes they seemed to be located in joints such as knees or knuckles. Unless they affected my ability to walk, squat, or type, I just wrote them off as signs of aging.
I was able to do that because they always went completely away in 2 or 3 days. If that’s all pain in oldsters is I didn’t have a lot of trouble living with it.
Still, they were annoying. They puzzled me. They puzzled my internist. They kept appearing and disappearing and he finally decided that he would send me to a neurologist if they persisted.
Sometimes, they were really annoying. My habit is to do intense strength training once a week and, if they disabled me for a single session, that meant two weeks without strength training. Occasionally, that is not a problem; however, when I don’t schedule the rest, it’s disturbing. Our bodies thrive on appropriate regular exercise and I would like to keep flourishing physically as long as possible.
Fortunately, my best friend Anna had a former clinical practice that enabled her to learn a lot about diet from her clients as well as from her own experience. Changing my mind can be a bit like trying to cause a cruising battleship to change direction, but, fortunately, she persisted. She had learned a lot about modifying diets to improve many types of conditions. She kept urging me to experiment with my diet to determine if the migratory pains were being caused by consuming the wrong foods for me.
Sure enough! She was right. I was just the latest example in a pattern that she had noticed and written about decades ago.
When we are young, we frequently seem to be able to get away with abusing our bodies. Undergraduates are notorious for doing that, and many continue the abuse through their twenties. Still, it begins to hurt much more than it used to and, in their thirties and forties, many people at least slow down when it comes to such behaviors as excessive drinking, smoking, or using illegal drugs. Many begin to pay more attention to their exercise habits and percentage of body fat.
In my case, I was eating some foods that didn’t suit me even though I didn’t fully realize it. By the time those poor eating habits manifested in migrating pains, it was no longer a simple matter of avoiding just one or two offending foods. I had unintentionally primed my body to trigger the migratory pains with decades of nutritional abuse.
If pain in oldsters is a concern, look to diet.
Foods ingested may cause the pains. If so and they are eliminated, the pains will disappear completely as long as a clean diet is maintained.
It’s tricky: unless you understand the message of this post, it may never occur to you or your physician that a food you have enjoyed for decades is the culprit.
Write down everything you eat or drink (other than water) including all condiments and dressings. Write down when pains occur and see if there’s a pattern between consuming any of the foods and the pains.
I’ve been doing that for nearly a year. The first culprit I noticed was beer. It hadn’t occurred to me that beer could be a culprit. After all, I’d been drinking beer for half a century with no migratory pains. It was psychologically difficult for me to realize that a beer or two before dinner might be causing the strange new migratory pains. It was.
In fact, the beer had been doing damage all the while. It just took a long time for me to notice the damage. Perhaps it was the gluten in the barley that is in beer. I don’t know.
Then I began wondering about other grains such as wheat. Maybe even eating sugar-free cookies wasn’t such a good idea either when the cookies were made with grain flour. Duh!
It seems obvious now, but it was difficult for me to realize.
Anna knows of many cases just like mine. Pain in oldsters was nothing new to her.
Ask any nurse or physician: you may develop an allergy to anything at any time. You may also develop an intolerance to anything at any time.
The best human diet consists of fresh, unprocessed, natural foods. The further from that ideal you eat, the more at risk you are. After all, Mother Nature designed our bodies to consume fresh, unprocessed, natural foods.
For example, bread and pasta are made from flour, which is a processed food. In fact, anything made from grains may cause, or eventually cause, problems. Grains are hybridized grasses and human beings did not evolve eating grass.
(If grain flours cause you problems, you can try products made with nut flours, although they, too, are processed foods.)
Dairy products are unnatural for human beings to consume. I myself still regularly enjoy organic yogurt and kefir from grass fed cows, but, if the migratory pains ever return, I’ll have another look at them.
Nothing abides. Just because you were able to consume a food without apparent difficulty yesterday does not mean that you will be able to consume it today or tomorrow without difficulty.
Keep an open mind. Keep examining. Whether it’s about pain in oldsters or anything else, it’s difficult to examine assumptions that have led to behaviors that always seem to have worked, but it can be important to do so.
Please let me know if this helps alleviate pain in oldsters – whether for yourself or someone you know. It worked for me and it may work for you.
(If you identify something that is causing you difficulty and you have trouble excluding it, perhaps my book Compulsive Overeating Help will enable you to get over the hump.)