A SENIOR CHALLENGE: Untangling the Knots

May 21st, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Signs of Aging

Arriving at one’s mid 70′s or early 80′s introduces the oft found necessity to untangle some knots. Knots have a way of happening without our having done much to contribute to them.  On the other hand, our tendency to worry and fret and feel uncomfortable with what seems to be happening to us produces some of those hard-to-free knots.

Untangling them takes some real work, determination and dedication to getting rid of them, of freeing oneself from their discomfort and often pain that comes with them.

Knots, seem to occur in your neck, legs, shoulders, back and feet.  Where else? Most anywhere.   They are both physical and psychological.  Knots are those problems that we didn’t see coming.  They emerge with no warning.  They lodge themselves in all kinds of places and take up residence for too long.  They aggravate and insinuate themselves when our energies really need to be invested elsewhere.  But, the discomfort and demand of the knots for our attention take over.  What’s one to do?

Finding ways and cures to deal with them, whether medicinal or through absolute determination, can take a while.  If the cause emanates from physical abuse to your body or psychological battering that we  have permitted, the need to get at some way to head it off is of paramount importance.

Let’s say, it is physical, which probably also means it has some roots in psychological distress going in our lives.  What can we do?

Managing Life to Avoid Knots

There are several good ways to help your body attend to these pains. First, try recommended exercises. These may come from the experience of a physical therapist who will work with you in reducing the pain  and overcoming the agony of day to day discomfort.  These exercises will require willingness and discipline on your part.  Once you have established a regimen of exercise, keeping it up and allowing it to contribute to untangling the knots will get easier and feel better to you. Chasing away the contributors to pain is no easy undertaking.  But, the reward is pleasing and fulfilling as the knots disappear.

Medication and vitamins may help. These should be supplemental only.  When you and  your physician have found what works for you, be conscientious about continuing to take them.  However, if you can succeed without meds, do so.  Vitamins and supplements are likely another matter and will require ingesting them over a continuing period of time.  Be sure you consult your primary healthcare physician before you begin a regimen of vitamins, supplements and other products for which you seek relief of pain; WE HERE AT SCJ ARE NOT PHYSICIANS, AND THIS INFORMATION IS NOT MEDICAL CARE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL CARE.  Supplements that include chondroitin and glucosamine, perhaps with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) may provide relief for joint pain; tart cherry juice may help with general arthritis pain; other compounds may also be helpful.  When you consult your physician, s/he may prescribe medications such as Cymbalta, Meloxicam or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs).  Be sure you consult your primary care physician and follow the recommended medical advice.

Psychological Knots Can Be Troublesome

Of course, psychological knots can be debilitating and just as painful in their way.  They may be dealt with through counseling, thus calling for a therapist of a different discipline.  Sorting out the psychological stresses that contribute to your knots and the knotty problems that they create will take pure dedication, admission of need for help, and again the discipline to work at ridding yourself of the contributing factors.

Causal factors are often difficult to identify. The desire for a quick fix may require your working more persistently and for a longer time period than you first thought.  Depending on the nature of one’s depression or distress, opening up to a therapist may not be all that easy to do.  However, finding that talking through your issues offers freedom from the knots may encourage your doing so readily.  Being a part of a group therapy process may also help you discover that you aren’t the only person going through the knots of this time in your life.

The possibility of some medications may be considered, but only with great care and attention to side effects.

When progress is evident, do not quickly surrender the techniques that are working.  A too quick giving up of practices that contribute to knot removal may put you back where you were.  Allow yourself patience and gentleness which continues to give you self confidence and awareness that it is your actions and behaviors that are helping you to untangle the knots.



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