How To Identify Age-related Aches And Pains?

aches and pains

aches and pains

How to know if your aches and pains are age-related or not.

Is it just because I am getting old?

Nearly every patient I see over the age of 55 with chronic joint pain will ask me “Is there anything you can do for (this injury), or is it just me getting old?”

While it is true, there are new aches and pains we get to enjoy as we journey through life. It does not mean there is nothing we can do about it.  

Our bodies undergo a series of changes, especially as we cross the threshold of 40 and beyond. While natural, these changes can impact how our muscles and joints function.

Our muscles may lose some of their youthful elasticity, and our joints might become less flexible. 

This reality becomes even more pronounced when considering conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis, which tend to make their presence known as we age.

Arthritis, a common condition, involves inflammation of the joints, leading to discomfort, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Osteoporosis, conversely, causes bones to become brittle and prone to fractures. 

Both conditions can be closely linked to decreased joint flexibility, making movement a challenge and impacting our overall quality of life.

Understanding these age-related aches and pains is the first step towards taking proactive measures to maintain joint health.

By acknowledging that these changes are a part of the natural aging process, we can embrace strategies that counter their effects and empower ourselves to live life to the fullest.

Here are 4 ways you can tell if what you’re experiencing is age-related aches and pains.

#1. Gradual Onset:

Age-related joint discomfort often develops slowly over time. You might notice stiffness or mild discomfort that persists but doesn’t result from a specific injury or trauma.

#2. Consistency:

These aches tend to be consistent, occurring on a daily or regular basis. They may be linked to activities or periods of inactivity but lack sudden, noticeable onset.

Patients often tell me when I ask them what happened, “I’m not sure, I just woke up one day and started having pain.”

#3. Morning Joint Stiffness:

Age-related joint discomfort is often more pronounced in the morning and tends to ease as you move throughout the day. This is common with arthritis. Joints have not been moving all night and need some time in the morning to get loose again.

#4. Generalized Pain:

It may affect multiple joints or areas of your body, such as the knees, hips, or lower back. This generalized pain is typically a result of wear and tear on the joints, often called arthritis.

Recognizing Potentially Recoverable Injuries:

#1. Specific Incident:

Injuries usually have a specific incident or event associated with them, such as a fall, a sports-related mishap, or lifting something heavy. You can often pinpoint when the pain began.

#2. Sharp or Acute Pain:

Injuries tend to cause sharp, acute pain localized to a specific area. You might feel a sudden, intense discomfort that is aggravated by certain movements.

#3. Swelling and Bruising:

Injuries often lead to swelling and bruising in the affected area. If you notice these signs, it’s a strong indicator of an injury.

#4. Limited Range of Motion:

Injuries can significantly limit your range of motion in the affected joint. You might find it challenging to perform certain movements you could do before.


Here is the kicker! Just because aches and pains are age-related doesn’t mean there is nothing that can be done about it. No matter which set of explanations best describes your situation there is plenty we can do to help.

By being attentive to the characteristics of your joint pain, you can make the best decision for your health about whether it’s age-related discomfort or a recoverable injury.

Regardless of the cause, addressing joint issues promptly and with professional guidance is key to maintaining your mobility and quality of life for years to come.  


If you want to get started on your Fitness Journey, join our Fitness Program now and stay active!

For more related and knowledgeable articles:

Read Our Blog: Maintaining Mobility in Later Years: The Importance of Proper Gait Mechanics

Read Our Blog: How To Stay Active Even With Everyday Stiffness

Watch our Physical Therapy Tips and advice:

Tips To Ease Aches And Protect Your Joints From Damage In Winter

Follow Us On Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

You Might Also Like...