The Fountain of Youth: “Boomer-Itis”

There has been a recent addition in the descriptors for physicians to use when seeing patients. Boomeritis, as defined by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon, refers to sports related injuries suffered by baby boomers. These injuries include bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, sprains, strains and stress fractures. As we age and continue the same forms of exercise, these injuries may resurface or become worse. Examples of some recurring injuries are rotator cuff injuries, knee problems and low back pain. These injuries can be a nuisance when you’re younger but become a hindrance to exercise as you age. Studies show that most people lose about a quarter pound of muscle every year. By the time they reach 80, they’ve typically lost about a third of their muscles mass. Therefore, it’s crucial to strengthen core muscles and the stabilizing muscles such as supporting the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles. The best way to avoid continued injury to those critical joint areas is to do the following:

1) Get clearance from your physician to begin a general cardiovascular and strength training program if you’re suffered from previous recurrent injuries

2) Work with a qualified trainer to design an exercise program to strengthen key muscles, ligaments and joints that will support your frame during exercise and prevent future injury

3) Be aware of your form. Many injuries occur due to improper form over time. Eventually our bodies not are as agile using the same improper form.

4) Incorporate cross training into your exercise program. The program you use in your 20s is not necessarily the program you will use in your 50s and 60s. Changing your program will give your body the challenge it needs without overtraining certain muscle groups.