Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Overuse Injuries Soar as Baby Boomers Turn 50

WebMD Health News

Jan. 1, 2000 (Atlanta) -- The incidence of injuries caused by overuse has exploded in recent years among fitness crazed baby boomers, according to presenters at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Despite its risks, doctors say exercise has countless benefits and most overuse injuries are preventable.

"The baby boomers are one segment of the population that really understands the importance of exercise," says Nicholas DiNubile, MD, one of the speakers and a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at University of Pennsylvania. "But they get into trouble when they try to perform they way they did at 20. As a group, we're seeing many more baby boomers with torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments." DiNubile tells WebMD that aging bodies are predisposed to overuse injuries.

"As we age, our reaction time increases and our joints have less lubrication. Also, our muscles, tendons and ligaments are less elastic. The Achilles tendon in the bottom of the foot is a good example. It becomes fatty, spongy, and tears much more easily," says DiNubile. These aging changes are likely to affect the growing number of senior citizens exercising regularly.

Since 1987, there has been an increase of more than 75% in the number of seniors who work out frequently, according to a report by American Sports Data Research. In response, some health clubs now offer special training areas with the sound tracks and equipment preferred by seniors.

Doctors who specialize in caring for the elderly applaud this trend.

"Exercise is truly the fountain of youth," says Patricia Bloom, MD, the chief of gerontology at St. Luke's Roosevelt Medical Center and associate clinical professor at Columbia University. "There's a lot of good data that shows exercise decreases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and depression. And it improves muscle mass, balance, strength, and sleep," she says.

"What this means is that exercise helps people live longer lives with less disability. Moving around just a little more can mean a significant improvement in health. So any risk of overuse syndrome is greatly outweighed by the benefits of exercise. And overuse injuries are largely preventable," says Bloom. Physicians specializing in sports medicine agree.

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing