Aging & ArthritisImportant ConceptsPain

Humans and Sports Cars Compared


So, why do we get this heel pain? With few exceptions, plantar fasciitis is a disease which affects women over 40. That’s why I said to start stretching your plantar fascia when you’re 35.  Of course there are exceptions, but let’s add this common condition in a larger category; adult repetitive strain disorders. This group of disorders, which probably accounts for a third of the patients I see, includes disorders like rotator cuff diseases, hip bursitis and tennis elbow. There are hundreds more but I will see at least a half dozen patients every day with those four conditions! Some patients come to see me with all four. Poor dears. And all of them over 40.

Patients say it’s hell getting old. I agree. But the process starts way before 40 or 50. I remember people used to say everything went downhill after 40. Now that 50 is “the new 40,” they’re more often saying that everything went downhill after 50. That certainly has held true for me.

Remember I told you the human being is put together to last a good 25 years. If we lived a totally natural existence, that’s about how long we’d last on average.  Life was fragile. If you couldn’t have babies and get food easily, you couldn’t survive. It was that simple. But now we’re living well into our 80s…having had a few life or limb saving operations and usually being on a few life saving drugs.

These repetitive strain disorders are simply a symptom of long life (meaning life after 25) and a body which is not well equipped to last that long. Think of your body as a car. Would you ever consider the possibility of making your car last 80 years? Probably not.  But if you did…and if you wanted it to last that long…what would you do to make that happen?

You would take gentle care of it. That’s what you’d do. Sure, for a few years you might take full advantage of its potential. If it was a sports car, you would drive it fast. If it was a truck, you would haul lots of stuff around. You’d drive a four wheeler off road. But then you’d put it to less use. You’d start remembering to get it serviced at the right time. You’d drive it more carefully, considering its age. You’d put it up, cover it, Armor All the tires. When it got really old, you’d replace parts and re-paint it.

And you can buy replacement parts and fluids for just about every single make and model of car available to mankind. You can probably get better parts than those which were available when your old car was made! Not so for humans. There are no replacement parts like your original equipment. There are no replacement fluids which are better than your own stuff. No new paint and no new tires.

So why are we so surprised when our body starts wearing out? And why do we think that we can overuse our bodies and come out better than we were when we were 20? Really…people are so surprised that their 40 year old bodies can’t do the same things they did when they were 20.

I would like you to take in my ideas, mull them around a little and then use them to help yourself avoid, slow down or even prevent some of the natural manifestations of aging. There’s no easy answer. Remember, I don’t have a product or a machine. Just an idea. 

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