Is it Possible to Age Without Experiencing Bodily Pain?

Megan Danielle 

Question: If I undergo testosterone therapy, could I regain the virility of young age?

Answer: As anyone who is aging can attest to, it is nearly impossible to avoid physical discomfort as you age. However, an interesting finding is that for many people, they express the presence of their pain less as they continue to age further. This may be due in part to diminished pain sensitivity with age, but others believe that some seniors are simply indifferent, unemotional people who do not find it worth their time to complain about their pain. Plus, different people have varying innate pain thresholds. Some people can take a tumble and skin a knee without so much as a whimper while others sob uncontrollably over the tiniest injuries.

Pain and Aging so IntertwinedAlong with the pain threshold, the ability to endure pain is dependent upon emotion as well. Athletes can play through a game with a broken bone because their anger, aggression, or passion to win keeps them from feeling the pain. Later, when the adrenaline has run its course and the player has calmed down, the pain sets in.

There are two main types of pain, which are acute and chronic. Acute pain is brought on abruptly and goes away after a relatively short period of time thanks to treatment and recovery. Chronic pain and aging are usually related, since this kind of pain comes gradually and is persistent. Up to 65% of independent senior citizens suffer from one form of chronic pain or another, each of which may have a different cause. Then, up to 80% of older individuals living in long-standing care facilities suffer from chronic pain due to aging.

One of the most common forms of chronic pain that is associated with aging is osteoarthritis, which is the inflammation of joints in various places of the body. When cartilage between the joints begins to wear down from old age, osteoarthritis can develop, especially in joints that support weight. Diabetes is another condition that is often associated with old age, one that affects nearly one in five Americans over age 60. This condition causes circulatory problems and a plethora of other painful symptoms. Digestive issues can also arise in relation to pain and aging, including appendicitis, gallstones, bowel obstructions, gastroenteritis, and more, each of which can cause chronic abdominal discomfort.

Spinal problems are also quite common in older adults as well, no matter what their pain threshold is. Herniated disks, arthritis, and spinal narrowing are common causes of chronic neck and back pain in seniors. Similarly, pelvic pain affects about 10% of older women because of infections, kidney stones, uterine fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Then, the odds of contracting cancer increase with age as well. Every type of cancer includes symptoms that cause pain. These and many other connections between pain and aging make it very difficult to avoid pain, which may simply be a natural part of aging.