Sore hips and knees. No such thing under 40. Over 50 and the conversational topics become weather, price of fish and ooh my aching hips and/or knees.
It makes sense as those joints have taken a good old battering at the hands of Mr. Wear & Tear over the years.
Whether a sporting type or not, the knees and hips (along with the eyes) have seen a lot of action and will naturally suffer through attrition.
But do we have to suffer the aches and pain of aging? We will come back to that proposition later.
It’s a strange thing but one of the biggest problems that face humans in the quest for long duration space travel is that bone structure, muscles, cartilage and collagen atrophy due to the lack of movement and exercise because of the microgravity environment.
It seems like the evolution of our body hasn’t yet caught up with our longevity.
Getting from the dreaminess of sleep into an active physical mode takes an age. It’s like an old car engine getting going after sitting in cold storage for a decade.
Shifting gear into midlife brings unexpected aches and pains that if we had when younger we would just wait for them to go away. After 40 or 50 the niggles go away less easy.
Suddenly the soreness of hips and knees from repetitive use has become due to lack of use – confusing!
But let us go where no one can hear you scream…
In other words, we would waste away in space, in extreme gravitational environments.
So getting back to the possibility of relief from these aches and pains but first a little story…
I mentioned my running buddy – we knew each other from college. I was visiting him one weekend.
From where he lives to the local shop, an actual corner shop is only about half a mile and he avoids driving short distances – well ‘cos it’s lazy.
Getting there is a pleasant walk looking down and out across the ocean, (well, body of water really), down through beautiful local church grounds and down some steps and you’re there.
Notice I said ‘down’ a lot. Milk, bread, cheese, paper and a bottle of red. You never know when the world will run out of wine.
So heavy-is bag and steep hill to climb. Challenges for “age-creep” – that’s where little multiple signals relay pain messages to the brain and remind us that we’re not 27.
You would imagine going down to the shop was the easier part. Well it wasn’t for Tim. I bounded down the steps and stopped, looked up and he took one step at a time and I mean one foot down, followed by the next on the same step.
It was really like an old person shuffle and didn’t look great.
When I asked him what he was doing (and when does this shop shut) he said his knees felt weak and unsteady, hips ached and he felt unsteady and a little off-balance.
Admittedly returning from the shop was pretty tough. It’s not a bad workout. Gravity is a bloody nightmare sometimes. But it was good to get back up the hill where Tim had to have a little sit. He tells me it’s a shame not to take in the view. I agreed.
Holidays, family life, the summer and other stuff came and went and Tim and I didn’t remain in touch even though he only lives an hour and a half away but you know what it’s like.