Help the Men in Your Life Stay Healthy

Image of a man walking

Whether it's your husband, your dad, your brother or your son - chances are, the men in your life ignore aches and pains, avoiding a trip to the doctor at all costs. However, ignoring joint pain can make an injury even more severe.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your man know when it's time to see his doctor. This Father's Day, make a promise to help the man in your life take control of his health. Encourage him to get annual physicals with his primary care physician and to get the screenings recommended for his age. And if the aches and pains he is complaining about are related to activity, help him to determine if a trip to the doctor could help.

As we age, our joints and bones begin to show signs of wear and tear. Unfortunately this is especially true for men who continue to stay active into their forties and beyond. Their joints begin to fail and other orthopedic injuries can occur.

If the man in your life has an injury that he is convinced is just a strain, let him rest it for a couple days. If it does not respond to rest and ice and it continues to impede his mobility, then he needs to see his doctor. This is true as well if the injury is in the knee and is recurring with swelling and pain, or if the knee locks in place. If the injury is affecting your sleep, making it painful to walk a block, hurts more than once a week and/or is no longer responding to pain medication - then it is time to see a doctor.

Some of the more common ailments in men include:

Tennis Elbow: This common overuse injury involves the wrist extensor tendon, which attaches at the outside of the forearm near the elbow. Tennis elbow can be painful and may cause swelling.

Shoulder Pain: Shoulder pain can be from a number of causes, all with varying degrees of seriousness. If the pain lingers for more than a day or two and hampers daily activity, encourage him to see a doctor.

Back Pain: Lower back pain is also common among active men, due to the twisting and rotating common in most sports. Proper form can help prevent problems, as can stronger core and back muscles. If back pain persists, does not respond to anti-inflammatories or is disabling, talk to your doctor.

Ankle and Achilles Tendon Injuries: Ankle sprains and Achilles tendon pain or rupture are also common among active men. Wearing footwear that fits well and is not too worn is important, as is keeping your leg muscles well-balanced, strong and flexible.

A significant contributor to a man's ability to stay healthy is his activity level. Encourage the men you love to be active by walking, playing sports, gardening, running - whatever he enjoys. Of course, with activity comes the risk of orthopedic injury. Helping your man know when to see his doctor - and then making sure he follows through with an appointment - can have a big impact on his health.

Take our online joint health risk assessment to determine if there is a treatment option that can help relieve the aches and pains.

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