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Aging + Sports = Boomeritis

If you exercise regularly, you probably know that your body does not bounce back like it once did. How's this for a sign of aging: Last week we my husband found out he needs a hip replacement. Something that was always associated with old age is now upon us, and it's not as uncommon among baby boomers as I once thought.


A recent article on Reuters reports that orthopedic surgeons are seeing a huge number of patients between 45 and 64 coming in with complaints of exercise-related injuries, or "boomeritis," a term coined, in 1999, by Dr. Nicholas A DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Was this impending hip replacement inevitable? It's hard to know. My husband was a huge runner and went for a jog on most days. The osteoarthritis that has progressed in Alan's hip, leading to its wearing away of its protective cushion of cartilage, may have been preserved if he had taken some measures like cross-training to alleviate stress put repeatedly on the same muscles, and resting between workouts.

Yes, it's a good thing that us baby boomers are a lot more fit and more conscious of exercise than our parents were; but it's a bad thing, I guess, when you don't realize (and I'm as guilty as anyone else) that our bodies takes a lot more to recover than they did when we were 20. I also find that my body cannot do the same things it used to, and hurts a lot more than it did when I was 20, besides.

Click here to read the whole article and to learn from Dr. Ray Monto, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), ways to protect yourself from injuries.

For those who are living with pain, read this account from a person who lives in chronic pain, and her helpful advice on how to cope.

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(Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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