One might think that when it comes to aging and its effects on the musculoskeletal system, it happens at an advanced age. However, the body’s ability to regenerate its tissues begins to decline in our thirties. This can be seen in the first subtle signs of aging, such as the appearance of wrinkles and more frequent muscle stiffness.
It should be noted that all anatomical structures are subject to the aging process. As far as the musculoskeletal system is concerned, a range of consequences can be observed. One of the most important is the decrease in muscle mass, called sarcopenia. From the age of thirty, the number of muscle fibres that make up the muscles and the size of these fibres decreases. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced as the years go by and accelerates in our fifties. Without preventive measures, it’s estimated that a seventy-year-old has lost about 50% of their original muscle mass, which is often replaced by fat tissue. This inevitably leads to a decrease in muscle strength. Small everyday activities, such as carrying groceries, become more difficult.
Other structural changes occur within various musculoskeletal structures. Connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and fascia lose their elasticity and become stiffer, affecting joint mobility and range of motion.
As mentioned above, it’s essential to adopt lifestyle habits early in life that help reduce the effects of aging on the musculoskeletal system. It’s important to act not only when a disease is diagnosed or chronic pain appears.
Ultimately, preventing the aging of the musculoskeletal system allows us to age with better mobility and less risk of falling. These measures can make all the difference in preserving an aging person’s independence.
Eat enough protein to help maintain muscle mass. Choose lean meats (poultry), seafood, and plant-based sources (soy, legumes, etc.).
Ensure a good intake of vitamins, especially B vitamins, which help metabolize proteins.
Eat foods that are good sources of calcium to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis (dairy products, tofu, green vegetables, etc.).
Start strength training in your 30s to reduce muscle loss and maintain bone density.
Incorporate stretching exercises to encourage flexibility and joint mobility. Yoga and Pilates are good activities to practice.
An active lifestyle helps prevent postural changes associated with aging, which can affect mobility and cause musculoskeletal pain.
Adopt ergonomic work practices to reduce pressure on the body, especially for people who work in a seated position or who have to make repetitive movements as part of their job duties.
Take steps to prevent falls at home, which are a significant health risk for older adults.
Don’t wait to consult a healthcare professional if you have pain to avoid developing chronic conditions.
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