Perception of Pain & Discomfort

Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Messages
402
My apologies to you aged gents, I'm seeking your wisdom and thoughts. I'm not over 60, still 2 years off of 50, but I thought y'all might help me understand something.

The question is, has your perception of pain and discomfort changed as you've gotten older?

I find pain and discomfort still hurt, but my ability to contend with it has improved. Rarely, if ever, does it severely limit what I can or will do, just the speed at which I may do it.

I have a relative in his 70s that still operates a small farm, but you'd swear some days he's 80+. Often he'll make up his mind he can't do something long before trying it and seems to seek out surgeries or devices to fix things. He has a back issue with his spine, but the doctor wanted him to try physical therapy before surgery. He said it wasn't helping and when he's done he won't do the stuff anyway. They are trying to improve his core strength and back strength, and it's not working. In the next breath he's telling me about a back brace that's so helpful. He acknowledged the brace is doing what the PT is intended to do, but he likes the brace better. I asked if the brace would be temporary until he strengthened up and he kind of shrugged off the question. I also asked if in 5-10 years, the brace would still help, because without him trying to strengthen himself, the condition might/probably get worse. That's typically where the "...you don't know how bad it hurts" line comes in.

I'm sure it is painful, extremely. But the idea of hurting worse in the future because you do very little about it now is hard to wrap my head around. In my mind it comes down to hurt now our hurt worse later, of course there are no guarantees, but the odds seem to say work now and at least have potential to keep it from getting worse.

Time to do the PT isn't an issue, it genuinely appears to be lack of motivation and no desire to put the work into it.

What am i missing? Is there a huge perception difference in pain as you age? Sure, I can see more stuff does hurt after multiple decades, but isn't that expected? What other facet am I not comprehending?
 

87TT

WKR
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
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Idaho
Some people are just unmotivated (lazy) weenies. I have pains every single day but just work through them.
 

5MilesBack

"DADDY"
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Feb 27, 2012
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I did four months of therapy for my lower back and both the therapist and myself agreed that that wasn't helping it at all, and might even be hurting it. Then I went the shots route. That just flared everything up even worse. That settled down a little, but I'm in pain 24/7. I absolutely can't work out like I'd like to because of the pain. Take away the pain and effects of this lower back and at 58 I'd tell you I was 35, and can and will out hike and out hunt 99% of everyone else out there. But this lower back thing is a real pain........literally.

And not just in the back. It's my hips, my thighs, my glutes, my lower abdomen, my groin.......and both thighs on the outside always feel like they're on fire. Either that or they itch at the same time. I have a line of scabs running down both legs where the nerve is. I don't want lower back surgery anymore than I want the 4-level fusion in my neck that I've been told I need. But the lower back is 10 times worse than the neck in regards to pain. I keep pressing on and I will be hunting this September (Lord willing), but it's really wearing on me. At some point I'll have no choice, but I imagine most hunting and hard work will be over at that point, so I just keep putting it off as long as possible.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
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1,568
Location
Montana
5 miles back: You have some seriously pinched nerves that you probably needed to fix some time ago. I was very fortunate growing up in that my father was a very good chiropractor. No matter what I did to myself he would eventually fix it. As he got older he showed me how to fix him. I inturn have shown my son how to fix me and I work on him.

We can't avoid wore out parts and thankfully many are replacable. My back is good but I have had both hips replaced. My shoulder is wore out and therapy won't help it. I'm missing bone.

At 72, I'm a little stiff when I get up. Too much computor time or number crunching and my eyes hurt. I hurt most in my lazy boy in the evenings so I limit the time in it. Sleeping can be a challenge at times.

I still have to put up my hay, plow a field and now I'm working on a shifting mechanism on my 1944 D-7 Cat. Things aren't going to happen if I don't do them.

Maybe my index of life was established when I was 18. I was in the mud bath where my father had his office and a gent walked in. He had just run out to the main highway and back. That was a 6 mile round trip. I know because I was doing it for track. He proudly told me he was 93. I would have guessed late 50s.

Does old age hurt- damn right but I can't stand the silence in a coffin.
 

Rich M

WKR
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
5,031
Location
Orlando
PT sometimes don't work. BTDT with a shoulder issue. was then told to live with it cause inoperable condition (bursitis). Took me 6 weeks to get the 5 minute MRI and see the bursitis. Wasted 6 weeks getting there.

Anyway - I won't tell anyone that PT will fix anything, just that it will get them to the next step. Old guy like brace - maybe he can do PT w brace and get to the next step.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
993
I am 65 years old. I have a torn and repaired left knee meniscus, something torn in my right knee that we haven’t looked at yet, torn and repaired Lower right bicep tendon, repaired umbilical hernia, painful flat feet with bunions that require orthotics, partially torn/strained lumbar disc from my late 20’s. Arthritis in right big toe, starting in left hand. Two inguinal hernias just starting to show symptoms. Oh also … had a cardiac nerve ablation last October right before hunting season.

I don’t consider myself particularly tough, and With that list I feel blessed. It could be a lot worse and it’s just all small naggy stuff, that slows me down but doesn’t stop me. Last week my younger brother (64) and I were chasing mulies at 9400 feet, having climbed 1800 feet from our base camp in about a mile and a half. Now that sumbich is tough. He’s had long Covid for two years and spends the first hour of every day battling with nausea and dry heaving. He gets tired and cold much easier than the old days. Still gets up at 3:30 in the am to leave camp in the freezing dark and chase the grey ghosts.

I find I have plenty of pain, but I’ve learned to not be interested in it. I try to have a dog-like attitude and I’m lucky because it comes naturally to me. They are only interested in fun, so they mostly don’t notice when they have a small injury.

The day will come when I’m simply unable to do the fun stuff I want to. I suspect I’ll find a way to work around it, or a fun way to kill myself. 🤔
 

Yoder

WKR
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
1,253
I think as long as you have the will and passion to do something, you accept a considerable amount of pain to do it. Everyone has their limit but I know my threshold has gotten higher as I've gotten older. It's so important to do things as much as you can that just totally suck, so it makes the things you love a little easier. My dad is 73 and he's lost the drive. He busted his ass working construction his whole life, had both knees replaced, back injuries and now he feels like he should sit back, relax and enjoy life. The problem is, he sat around relaxing, eating and gained about 75lbs. Now he can barely do any of the things he loves. If you sit back and relax, you are going to die quicker or wish you were dead sooner.
 
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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
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923
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Fort Myers , FL
When I was young I didnt have the everyday aches and pains as I have as an old guy. If I got injured it was just a temporary pain. In think you just get worn out of living with pains of aging and you just want to be comfortable. One thing I notice is I don't like the sensation of being cold. It never used to bother me. When I was young and played sports I used to like the burn in my legs after a workout. These days when I ride my bike I don't care for the burn.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
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Location
Alaska
" . . . The question is, has your perception of pain and discomfort changed as you've gotten older? . . ."

It has absolutely changed. As I now approach 60, I perceive pain and discomfort much more frequently and in longer duration than I did in my earlier years.

Other than that, it's pretty much the same.
 

Amos Keeto

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
159
Well sir, here is something I know about.
Head-on MVA, Dec 1991.
I was 41 years old and pretty much could do whatever I wanted to do andcwas still very active.
I missed "middle age" and went directly to decrepit old fart.
Left hip broken and dislocated.
Three bones broken in left foot.
Right heel (calcaneous) crushed.
Surgery required to repair hip and heel.
Since then, left hip replacement ('05).
Right shoulder replacement ('19 - old football injury!)
Right heel fixation ('21)

Pain is a part of everyday life.

So....I had to stop crying about what I couldn't do and figure a work-a-round to do what I used to do.

I can no longer "run & gun", so I "pattern" turkeys, set up a hide and do a lot of blind calling.

I hunt deer out of a heated blind. Keeps my arthritic joints from hurting so badly.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
662
Location
Midwest
The way i deal with pain is to largely ignore it. You can either be out living life with pain or sitting at home doing nothing with pain, up to you. I choose to live life the way i enjoy.

The mind is a powerful thing.
 

tops911

FNG
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
62
Location
Montana
The day I wake up without pain I'll be dead. It took several years until I just realized the pain as a fact of life. I abused my body for 31 years in the Army. I used to do construction work and I remember thinking when about the old men hanging out trying to help but physically they could not do much, really they were just in the way. I was helping a friend and realized I'm "those old men" now. I do what I can and some days I over do it and pay the price. But that's life
 

Amos Keeto

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
159
The way i deal with pain is to largely ignore it. You can either be out living life with pain or sitting at home doing nothing with pain, up to you. I choose to live life the way i enjoy.

The mind is a powerful thing.
Doc asked me once what I took for pain.
Told him, "Nothing."
"Not even Tylenol?"
"Doc," I said, "if I took a Tylenol every time my feet or hip hurt, I'd be eating those things like they were M&M's!"
Hauled a bottle full of Lor-Tab around for about a month after discovering I could still walk.
First, taking Lor-Tab, to me, is about as effective as M&M's!
Nada!
Nothing!
Zip!
Zilch!
Tried Hydrocodone! I didn't hurt....because I was asleep!
THAT wasn't fun...or helpful.
Finally, I figured out that when the pain becomes unbearable, I sit down on my fat a$$ and do something else until the pain subsides.
Rinse and repeat. YMMV!
I've got a hunting pack. Due to the shoulder surgery, I built an AR in 6.8mm!
Deer and hog killing dude and the soft recoil of the semiautomatic is easy on the implant.
Snap on hunting pack hangs rifle at 45° angle, leaving hands free for hiking staffs.
I can't walk for miles, but I can walk a quarter mile to my blind.

Where there is a will, there is a way!
 

Weldor

WKR
Joined
Apr 20, 2022
Messages
994
Location
z
Been dealing with failed back surgery for 23 years, I just keep on trucking,.Pain sucks but you have to find your way to keep going regardless. It slowed me down some and I plan things around my known restrictions. No more taking off across the mountain without a plan LOL.
 
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