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The example age demographics of physiotherapy | Life stages series | Age 40-47:

The squeezed middle and half-time whistle


A hockey game lasts 70 minutes and a rugby match lasts 80 minutes. With a bit of a break in the middle and some extra time, the overall game might last somewhere between 75 and 85 minutes. Change minutes to years, and 75-85 is about the life span of an individual in the UK (very roughly). So, if you’re reading this aged around 40, you can probably hear life’s half-time whistle being blown.


They say life starts at 40…unless you’re age 50, in which case they suggest that life starts then! Whichever is true, it’s time to get on with keeping fit and healthy as the years tick by.


You may well be mortgaged, with a partner or spouse, possibly a growing family, and working hard in your career and at home. All good stuff, but often stressful; is your health and wellbeing holding up, or is it a lower priority than all the other tasks on the list? It’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness of day-to-day life that your own health, while it lasts, is taken for granted. What would happen, though, if you encountered a problem? It’s hard to keep up with the daily demands if your muscles or bones are protesting every step of the way.


If you’ve managed to keep an exercise regime going till now, good for you! If not, maybe it’s time to try and fit in some activity while you’re still young. Whether you’re active or fairly sedentary, sooner or later, you are going to find that your body doesn’t quite do what it used to, and regular physiotherapy, combined with safe and appropriate exercise, may help to delay that point.


Can physiotherapy help?


As we age, our bodies change, and it can be increasingly difficult to lose weight. As we try new strategies to increase muscle tone and rediscover our younger self, our bones lose their density, muscles lose their muscle mass, tendons and cartilage become drier and ligaments less elastic.


Popular sports which are often incorporated into daily routines, aimed at improving both physical and mental health, are running, football, swimming and golf. If starting a new sport, or recommencing an old hobby, it is important to be aware that with each activity there are common aches and pains that are associated with it. For example, issues such as calf strains, back pain, hip bursitis, knee pain and shin splints can be associated with running; neck, shoulder, elbow and lower back issues can be linked to playing golf and knee ligament injuries and osteoarthritis can be associated with playing football.


In addition, and as part of the ageing process, our ability to heal slows down, and it is important that we address sports-related injuries quickly to enable continuation of an activity. Injuries can be a result of a single event, or trauma, but are more often caused by repetitive movements. A session / sessions with a physiotherapist may include the treatment of an area, joint or muscle of concern, but may also include discussions on activity modification, such as grip technique when striking a golf or tennis ball to avoid patterns of movement that can aggravate your symptoms. It is the role of your physiotherapist to build up a clear picture of what has happened, or what might have changed, and work with you to help reduce your pain and risk of re-injury.


Contact Life Made Simple Physiotherapy

We hope the sixth in this series of age-related blogs is helpful as we progress through the remainder of 2021 and beyond. We hope you will see that thinking about your physiotherapy care is important and chatting through what you anticipate and expect is part of that process. Please do contact Life Made Simple Physiotherapy by email at Physio@lifemadesimple.co.uk , or by telephone on 07309 272 555 for your individual physiotherapy needs and care.


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