Boomeritis: April 7, 2011

Comfortable temperatures and sunny skies. There's no limit as to what you can do outdoors in Southwest Florida. But there's one condition that can be somewhat limiting for a majority of the population: boomeritis. "They are hitting an age when arthritis is kicking in, overuse conditions are kicking in and the body's kind of catching up to them but their mindset is: they will want to be active. They still want to be involved in other things that they've enjoyed their whole lives," explains Lee Memorial Health System physical therapist, Patrick Davin.

Researchers have found that baby boomers are the first generation to take the phrase, "staying active" seriously. But there's one thing standing in their way: age. "It's a catch 22. It is," says Davin. "I mean, there's a whole set of conditions that can develop from inactivity: cardiovascular-wise, diabetes. You're trying to fight that battle by being active but you know, the bones and joints can definitely only take so much wear and tear."

The knees, shoulders, hips, and lower back are the major problem spots. "That's something that we do see with most of the age groups but with the baby boomers, they tend to put things off and we can help them more if we can treat the injury more acutely."

So, if you're a baby boomer and you're experiencing joint pain regularly, it's a good idea to see your doctor. Physical therapy can also provide major relief for problematic joints. "Everyone that comes through the door, we have to individualize: their session, their treatment, we have to really focus on what they want to get back to doing and that will really determine where we'll go with our treatments," adds Davin.

Combine physical therapy with some home exercises and may patients are back to their active lifestyles in no time.