The Medical Movement to Reduce Surgery and Pain Medications

As we age, our bodies require new approaches to maintaining an active, enjoyable lifestyle. As we know, older adults are more prone to conditions that can cause daily pain. The possibility of things like back pain, arthritis, and fracture risks increase. We become more at-risk for developing heart disease and neurological disease as we age. For too long, the way to treat these things is waiting for them to develop then manage with medication or surgery. But with addiction and healthcare costs on the rise, we’ve begun to look deeper into what efficient healthcare really looks like. The findings were often surprising. In today’s changing approaches to healthcare, you often play the most important role in avoiding and reversing the common conditions before they ever become a problem.

‏While not frequently discussed, seniors are at an increased risk of ‏ ‏developing an addiction‏ ‏ to their prescribed pain killers. Seniors who have recently had a fall or a surgical procedure are commonly given addictive medications such as OxyContin and Percocet to help them manage daily pain. While it is understandable that these medications are sometimes needed for severe pain, we’re interested in promoting healthy ways to help seniors avoid those injuries and put them at less risk of requiring a surgical procedure.‏

‏Not only are pain medications dangerous, but medical costs can also be extremely detrimental for seniors who are no longer working or don’t have a decent health care plan. It is important to consider these things, as seniors don’t deserve to simply live out their golden years feeling tied down to their doctor and paying hefty amounts for pain medication and hospital visits. We strongly believe in harnessing your independence as a senior, in this regard. ‏

‏Physical education lets us rely more on our own actions to stay healthy and less on medical procedures and medications. That’s why we’ve decided to outline some of our favorite ways for you to stay fit, take control of your own health, and prevent ailments that frequently prevent us from living our lives to the fullest.

Read on for some great ways to get started.

 

Walking‏

‏You should aim to go for walks multiple times a week to get ‏ ‏2.5 hours of brisk exercise‏ ‏ per week. Walking is a great way to achieve this goal as you can make small adjustments to your lifestyle to get more steps. You can walk your dog, park further away from a destination, or skip driving all together on certain days.‏

‏Seniors are unfortunately prone to developing medical conditions that can cause consistent pain. Exercise can help reduce your chances of developing conditions like arthritis that require medications and frequent visits to the doctor’s office. This will in turn lower medical costs and reduce your chances of becoming dangerously dependent on pain medications. ‏

‏Physically fit older adults walk roughly ‏ ‏2000-9000steps‏ per day. If walking is your only exercise, you should strive to increase your daily step count to a comfortable amount if you are somewhere in the 2000 range. While 10,000 steps per day are commonly noted as a goal to strive towards, older adults may feel more comfortable going for a long walk 3 times a week, with each walk aiming towards around 7000 steps. ‏

‏Yoga

‏Flexibility takes a more important role as we age. The way we move in daily tasks can become smaller and less confident. Improving flexibility gives us a better range of motion and an ability to move the way that protects us from injury. It can also relieve muscle pain and tightness, and promote healthy blood circulation in the body.

A popular exercise for flexibility is yoga. ‏It also comes with ‏several additional health benefits‏ ‏ for older adults, including stronger bones, improved mood, and better balance. ‏ Falls and slips are ‏ ‏one of the leading causes of death‏ ‏ or severe injury in seniors and can severely affect their fragile bones. While a fall may seem less threatening for younger people, seniors should strive to avoid them at all costs, as it could lead to an extended hospital stay and they could require paid medication. ‏

The style of yoga you choose is important, and we recommend working with an older instructor that understands the specific needs of older adults. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis for instance, they should modify your plan to avoid exercises that curl your back.  Look for a gentle, strengthening class. ‏These are often referred to as senior or therapeutic yoga. Your doctor or physical therapist can offer you more guidance on this and provide further direction for your yoga instructor.

Water Aerobics‏

‏Exercising in the water‏ ‏can be a fun routine that boosts your energy as a senior, letting you enjoy life more while harnessing independence. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a form of arthritis, the water’s buoyancy comforts your joints and allows you to perform the exercises with relative ease, while still strengthening your body. ‏

Maintaining a close connection to water activities can also provide seniors with the comfort of not having to give up certain activities. Water aerobics can also eliminate the need for certain equipment, such as weights, by providing resistance but allowing you to feel a sense of freedom in the water. ‏

It is important to remember that we also need to exercise outside of the pool as well. Though the water takes away some of the stress on our body and allows us to increase strength and endurance, balance and bone building exercises are best practiced on-shore.

Boosting Brain Health

Occasional forgetfulness happens to everyone at some point in their lives, and although this can be completely normal, it can be quite disruptive to your

Read More »

Spotlight: Judy Vander

Judy Vander is an accomplished musician, scholar, ethnomusicologist, and composer, writing many of her own works over her lifetime. Here she discusses her current project–an

Read More »

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER