My Old-A** Body Is Breaking Down Catch-All

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Not a miracle cure, but I'm planning on regular strength training AND flexibility/mobility training for the rest of my life to keep that kind of thing at bay while remaining active.

It's not fancy, but it's the only way I see to stay happy in my body as I continue to age.

detroit20 wrote:

Thanks for the swift responses, UpToIsoMorphism and Tundra! You've confirmed what Google already told me: I am old, and; no miracle breakthroughs have been made since my last internet search.

Gosh, I really took my body for granted when I was younger. As with everything else, had I known how things would turn out, then I'd have taken much better care of it.

BUT your older self will thank you for starting to do better now.

I've been going to gym since '97 when the pandemic & health issues put a pause on that, but all those years of exercise helped me be in better shape for the health issues I've been having and gave me a tough mindset.

Groin strain, now. I had just recovered from my calf strain(s).

And it was entirely my own fault. During training I decided to run around in a playing position that is not the one that I play. I performed a movement that I don't usually perform and... TWANG!

In other, unrelated news, I seem to have become weaker this week. Weights with which I was pretty comfortable last week, are noticeably more challenging this week.

But this isn't a new development. As I entered, passed through and then left my mid- to late-forties, I became aware that my physical decline isn't slow and steady (a shallow straight line on a graph); it's jerky. One week, I can squat X kilograms. The very next week, I can't get past X minus 5 kg.

Watching this process makes me sad. I am watching the physical manifestation of my self disappear like the Cheshire Cat. I am increasingly fearful that one day I will watch the mental manifestation of my self do the same.

I now understand why some middle-aged men throw themselves on the mercy of private doctors, and seek out courses of HGH and/or testosterone. I am beginning to consider it myself...

Oh forgot this thread. I sprained my right ankle on our porch step just walking a few weeks ago. Figured no big deal I used to get a sprain every 9-12 months in either ankle when I played basketball through high school, college, and a bit after.

A little ice and elevate and was walking ok the next day. Kept icing and ibuprofen and thought it was getting better. But after 4 or 5 days the bruising moved down to my toes. Weird.

Then after a few more days mostly the top of my foot was hurting. WTF?

Finally went to the doctor. Definitely some ligament damage. X-ray negative for any broken bones. And if there was a tear requiring surgery I wouldn't be able to walk, so they didn't bother to ultrasound. So... walking boot. First time ever.

It's been an annoying week. Damn thing gets in the way all the time. Keeping it on except for sleep and shower. Supposed to try without it after today and see if it feels better but I'm pretty sure it's not. So maybe a few more days. Follow up next week. So much for simple ankle sprain

Ah... the sprained ankle 'test'.

A few weeks ago, I was talking about sprained ankles with a trainer at my gym. Like you, we used to suffer them reasonably frequently in our youth. Tripping while rushing down school stairs. Stumbling during impromptu soccer games. But we agreed that we remember recovering completely in only a few days.

But now a sprained ankle might result in permanent injury. Ligaments and tendons don't seem to have the healing properties that they used to.

I hope you recover soon and fully Stele. But I suggest you make ibuprofen a regular item in your shopping basket. And I suggest that you keep the walking boot, and any other protective and/or supportive equipment you acquire in future. You will get more than one use out of it!

Detroit20, you should consider adding an exercise routine or activity with more variety of motion in it to prevent "points of failure", I'd naively call them. Yoga is great, so is some form of martial arts - forms, jiu jitsu, etc, as well as a good varied Kettlebell workout. They can work the whole body and strengthen all kinds of muscles in all sorts of angles of motions as long as you make sure to include different types of movement.

Weightlifting tends to be linear and not very dynamic outside the range of motion, so it does not, for example, protect your knees from twisting or supporting you from the side. And regular stretching is often goal-oriented, like stretching your legs and back for running, and again, does not deal with motions outside the usual range, so you can get caught like you did.

In short, expand the range of motion that your body *uses* regularly and you'll see fewer injuries from changing up what you do, or making some emergency motion that is not in your usual repertoire. You'll also see more connections between parts of the body, which can make up for your individual body part strengths slowly dropping. Also make sure you are getting enough protein, and ask your physician for a full blood panel workup (including PSA!) just to rule out some incipient nasty hanging around in the background.

- Suggestions from an old dude.

Yeah. I'd get a sprained ankle 3 times in 2 years when younger. I mean volleyball and basketball will do that to ya. In fact you could probably throw in another 3-4 times a year where I'd roll an ankle with no apparent injury.

I really fear doing that now... I mean scabs don't every really heal now. They just shrink over months to small scars.

And my balance is not what it used to be by far.
I still resist ibuprofen but I am using it 10x more than I used to.

From personal experience, ankles, once you mess up the tendons and such, will heal to hold themselves together with muscle. They get weaker but they do heal faster. So while it's more likely to happen, it's less of a concern than if you'd never badly damaged them before.

That's my experience anyway.

Robear wrote:

Detroit20, you should consider adding an exercise routine or activity with more variety of motion in it to prevent "points of failure", I'd naively call them. Yoga is great, so is some form of martial arts - forms, jiu jitsu, etc, as well as a good varied Kettlebell workout. They can work the whole body and strengthen all kinds of muscles in all sorts of angles of motions as long as you make sure to include different types of movement.

You are spot on, Robear.

In the (now distant) past, I did capoeira which was brilliant for varying the range and type of motions I performed.

More recently (and pre-pandemic), I was still mixing things up a little with golf, interval training and spin classes... plus diligent stretching after my weights sessions. I need to get back to doing other classes in the gym. We have yoga, various types of circuit classes, and spin. And there are always personal trainers too.

Yep. You're right. I can and will do more.

For my money, start with the yoga, and make it as dynamic as you can. Move slowly between positions keeping your muscles engaged, is what I mean. Have fun!

From my experiences with playing sports since I was in elementary school and lifting weights since I was in the military at 19, I have had a litany of injuries that I have to find workarounds for, as I continue to lift weights in my late 40s.

My biggest obstacle is my knee that had to have an ACL replacement, which occurred when I was 30, that still bothers me to this day. In this case, instead of standard squats on a Smith machine (I know it's better to use just free weight barbell for a true compound movement, but I don't trust my knee), I still utilize the Smith machine, but do a sumo squat which pitches my toes out like this:

IMAGE(https://cdn-0.weighttraining.guide/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/barbell-sumo-squat-resized-new.png?ezimgfmt=ng%3Awebp%2Fngcb1)

My point is that even slight alterations to your workouts can help you surmount some obstacles, if performed correctly.

I have enjoyed the wisdom and life experiences that I have accrued getting older, but man, you really need to pay attention to even smallest hints that your body is giving out.

I've switched my weightlifting to kettlebells, and I'm really enjoying how much more it's about functional movements than barbell training is.

Every movement with a single kettlebell is by definition a core exercise, for instance, because you're stabilizing an off-centerline load.

Seems like it fits my middle-aged body much better.

Tore my rotator cuff doing... I don't even know. Raising my hand? Bleh.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Tore my rotator cuff doing... I don't even know. Raising my hand? Bleh.

I did that in late 2017 and had a bicep tendonopathy (I think) to fix it. Basically, the upper bicep tendon had frayed apart, so it was stitched back up, cut, and re-attached by a hole driven into the shoulder bone. Was, uh, aggressively not fun to recover from, but the good news was I had zero discomfort in any part of my body that wasn't my upper right arm. Couldn't even tell, could use my forearm and bend my elbow normally. The upper arm? Completely unusable in every way, and really uncomfortable.

Not going to lie, this was not easy, and rehab took quite a while from that surgery. I bought a power recliner to help me sleep, and I was in it for 2.5 months. Just trying to sleep in a bed was too hard because my shoulder couldn't support the weight of my arm for that long, and I did PT for months. I know I progressed a bit faster than most per my PT guy because I was completely diligent about the rehab exercises. Do that.

Also, look for a thing called a Cryo Cuff; it's basically an icing/compression gadget and it was utter goddamn magic in every way, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Thanks MMD. Luckily I'm not in any pain unless I try to move my arm straight out to my side, and even more so if I then try to stretch it back. I tore the cuff on the rear of my shoulder, which the radiologist said is pretty unusual, so I really wish I could remember what I did to cause that. And, it's a partial tear.

In any case, I have an ortho consult on Tuesday to see if surgery is recommended. I'm also dealing with some sort of right oblique muscle strain that I've had for probably over a decade, same side as the shoulder. It's been hardly noticeable for so long because I was mostly lazy and never did anything to stress it. But since signing up for the YMCA I was excited to take advantage of their shiny new exercise equipment. Apparently my whole right side decided it was going to have none of that.

Yeah, we old dudes have to start slow and easy to get back into exercising.

Robear wrote:

Yeah, we old dudes have to start slow and easy to get back into exercising.

Yep. Particularly if we're going back to activities that involve explosive movements. Our bodies are not where they were 20 years ago.

Based on my own experience in the last 4 months, take the time to:

- Make an honest and thorough assessment of your current condition
- Understand the gap between where your body is, and what your chosen activity will require of it
- Make a medium-term plan to bridge that gap
- Implement and stick to the plan

If you have the money, then I'd recommend getting a personal trainer... at least to help with your self-assessment and to get you started. I think a good one is worth the investment.

Slightly off-topic...

I started my first football game yesterday. The other two full backs got injured in warm ups, so my coaches stuck my 51-year-old body in for the first series (and then for next two quarters). It was... demanding. I look forward to my team-mates' returns.

At least they were not strikers lol

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