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Common Pains as You Age: Feel Better

In Your 40s and 50s continued...

Feel Better. Pay attention to your posture and how you lift things. "Ideally, people should not lift more than 25% of their body weight without assistance," Langevin says.

Look at your workplace. Is your chair the right height? Is your computer screen where it needs to be? Make adjustments if you need to, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!

Does your back ache in the morning? Consider buying a new mattress or trying a new sleeping position.

Over-the-counter medications like, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Try physical or chiropractic therapy, or practice Pilates or yoga. Talk with your doctor to see if these treatments are right for you.

Muscle Strain and Tendinitis. The effects of pushing yourself too hard get worse as you age. Repeated strain on your arms from things like cleaning and yard work can cause chronic shoulder pain, says Vik Ahluwalia, a physical therapist in the Detroit area. Repetitive fitness activities like weight lifting and running can also cause problems.

Feel Better. Stretch. Don’t make your workout too long. Pace yourself when you exercise. Cut back on a sport if you get inflammation or problems from doing it too often, says Michael J. Cooney, a Rutherford, NJ, chiropractor who specializes in sports injuries.

Try the RICE method. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can also reduce soreness and pain. Check with your doctor first if you take other medicines or have other medical problems.

In Your 60s, 70s, and Beyond

Osteoarthritis. This is the “wear and tear” type of arthritis that comes from using your joints over and over. More than 12 million Americans 65 and older have it.

Feel Better. Get moving, and keep your weight in check.

An active lifestyle helps. Just pick activities that are easy on your joints. "At this age, a stationary lifestyle is more risky than the risk of a physical injury," Cooney says.

Choose an exercise program that includes weight training for muscles and bones and aerobic activity for heart health.

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