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Q&A: Dr. Grimsley Shares Orthopedic Tips for People Over 40

If you’re over 40 years old, this article is for you!

As we age, our bones, muscles, and joints undergo changes that increase the risk of certain injuries. Your tendons and ligaments are like an ancient rubber band and often lose elasticity. Additionally, muscle loss begins in your mid-40s, and over the next 20 years, it’s possible to lose as much as 30 percent of your muscle mass.

Jacksonville Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Richard Grimsley, shares his orthopedic tips to help those over 40 stay healthy and avoid some of the common orthopedic injuries people often sustain as they get older.

Q: What are some of the common orthopedic injuries that you see in people over 40?

A: Some of the common orthopedic injuries that I see in individuals over 40 include osteoarthritis, tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, meniscal tears, and stress fractures.

Q: What are some preventive measures that individuals over 40 can take to reduce the risk of injuries?

A: There are several proactive measures you can take to prevent orthopedic injuries:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on your joints. In simple terms, obesity is a risk factor for getting certain types of arthritis and if you are obese, it will make every type of arthritis harder to manage. Learn more about the impacts of being overweight by only 10 pounds in this article on our website, Prescription #1 for Joint Health: Lose Weight.
  2. Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support bone and muscle health. Learn more about recommended joint and bone health diets and supplements in this article on our website, Prescription #2 for Joint Health: Eat Well.
  3. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, focusing on strength training and flexibility exercises.

  • Warm up properly before physical activity and cool down afterward to prevent strains and sprains.

  • Incorporate low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to reduce joint strain.

  • Use proper technique and equipment when exercising or participating in sports to avoid overuse injuries.

  • Wear supportive footwear to provide stability and cushioning for your joints.

Learn more in this article on our website, Prescription #3 for Joint Health: Exercise.

  1. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain or discomfort. For more tips, check out this article on our website, Prescription #4 for Joint Health: Play It Safe.

Q: How important is proper posture in preventing orthopedic injuries as we age?

A: Proper posture is crucial for maintaining spinal alignment and reducing strain on the muscles and joints. Poor posture can contribute to neck pain, back pain, and other orthopedic issues. It’s essential to be mindful of posture throughout the day, whether sitting, standing, or performing activities, and to make ergonomic adjustments as needed to maintain good alignment.

Q: Are there specific exercises or stretches that can help prevent orthopedic injuries in individuals over 40?

A: Yes, incorporating exercises and stretches that target flexibility, strength, and balance can help prevent orthopedic injuries. Some beneficial exercises include:

  1. Low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling.
  2. Strength training exercises focusing on major muscle groups, including the core, legs, arms, and back.
  3. Flexibility exercises such as yoga or Pilates to improve range of motion and joint mobility.
  4. Balance exercises to reduce the risk of falls, such as standing on one leg or using balance boards. The majority of injuries are sustained towards the end of a workout when the body is tired and balance is at its weakest.

Q: When should someone seek medical attention for orthopedic concerns or injuries?

A: It’s essential to pay attention to your body and seek medical attention if you experience persistent pain, swelling, or decreased range of motion. Additionally, if you’ve suffered a sudden injury or trauma, such as a fall or impact during sports, it’s important to have it evaluated to rule out serious injuries like fractures or ligament tears. Prompt treatment and rehabilitation can help prevent further complications and promote a faster recovery.

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