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Why the aches and pains right around 40?

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  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 1,852Member Member Posts: 1,852Member Member
    I was plagued by aches and pains from knackered joints in my 20s.

    Those joints hurt much less now I'm in my 40s - because I am WAY, WAY fitter than I was in my 20s, and thus my muscles and tendons are able to take a lot of the strain off the joints themselves.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Posts: 42,443Member, Greeter Member Posts: 42,443Member, Greeter Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.
    So just going back to my learning of physiology, the human body really hasn't changed for thousands of years. If we're looking at it objectively, like any other animal we instinctively look to procreate to carry our genes down line. In the early human years on Earth, all we did was what other animals did. Females start to have periods about 10-13 years old. Obviously at that time, they can get pregnant. Males are also high in testosterone around the same age. IF the goal was to just rear children and feed them, then this would be a good age because there's less complications with birth and one is still young enough and fleet enough to gather/kill for food and feed the family. Ev en today, most people's peak physical performance was in their teens and into their mid 20's or so. Without medical intervention, what is the average human life expectancy barring being killed by accident or murder back then? Probably right around 40-45 years old (a guess). So by the time you hit 40, the body is getting worn out. You don't run as fast and you likely don't see as well either. If you're the male leader of the group and can't lead as well, normally a younger male will challenge and likely beat you out. And so on and so on.
    Of course now with medical intervention and technology, along with understanding how cells work, better option for food for complete nutrition (not just berries and freshly killed meat), and physical exercise, we've obviously been able to extend human life expectancy to much much higher years. But also look at how much less physical one becomes and how much more fragile we are in those later years.
    So why 40? IMO (and based on evidence) it's because the human body likely wasn't made to last too much longer than that naturally.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Did you by any chance suggest he see a doctor to rule out a medical cause for this onset of unexplained aches and pains? Autoimmune diseases spring to mind, but I'm sure there are lots of other potential medical issues this could be a symptom of.
    Oh I know the majority of my aches and pains are just from wear and tear. I tennis elbow and golfers elbow, patellar tendinitis in my left knee, a little biceps tendinitis and just the old "getting out of bed" creaks and cracks. So they're not unexplained.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 659Member Member Posts: 659Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    The birth canal issue? New research is questioning if natural selection explains birth canal issues or if it is genetic drift. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/birth-canals-are-different-all-over-world-countering-long-held-evolutionary-theory
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 11,478Member Member Posts: 11,478Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    The birth canal issue? New research is questioning if natural selection explains birth canal issues or if it is genetic drift. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/birth-canals-are-different-all-over-world-countering-long-held-evolutionary-theory

    Not specifically birth canal. Intending more to speak to the point that early motherhood is dangerous to mother and child (which it possibly is). History suggests that while we humans think maternal/child mortality a sad outcome to be avoided, history cheerfully rolls on despite pretty terrible results in that arena for centuries, possibly millennia.

    If we breed early, and some of us survive, and someone survives long enough to raise those children who survive, until they can reach breeding age, we have a sustainable species, and sustainability in the stronger genetic lines as well.

    The "wearing out" hypothesis for 40+ aches and pains has some credibility, in that scheme. Perhaps we moderns are living longer than needful (from an evolutionary standpoint), I dunno. As an individual (who is not a longevity/geriatric-health researcher), I think it's suboptimal to shift focus, more than fleetingly, from "what can I do to stay strong and healthy as long as possible" to "why am I having more aches and pains at 40". It's amusing to discuss, though.

    I believe you're correct about earlier menses in the modern era, though. I haven't followed it closely, but had the impression that there's a lot of debate about why.

    Edited: typo
    edited January 30
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,499Member Member Posts: 2,499Member Member
    There's also the, if we breed often enough, there will be enough children who survive to help support the family. That implies that a. a bunch of infants and children were dying and b. if children started having children in their teens/preteens then they would have likely been having them into their adulthood as well.

    That said, I'm not an anthropologist.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.
    So just going back to my learning of physiology, the human body really hasn't changed for thousands of years. If we're looking at it objectively, like any other animal we instinctively look to procreate to carry our genes down line. In the early human years on Earth, all we did was what other animals did. Females start to have periods about 10-13 years old. Obviously at that time, they can get pregnant. Males are also high in testosterone around the same age. IF the goal was to just rear children and feed them, then this would be a good age because there's less complications with birth and one is still young enough and fleet enough to gather/kill for food and feed the family. Ev en today, most people's peak physical performance was in their teens and into their mid 20's or so. Without medical intervention, what is the average human life expectancy barring being killed by accident or murder back then? Probably right around 40-45 years old (a guess). So by the time you hit 40, the body is getting worn out. You don't run as fast and you likely don't see as well either. If you're the male leader of the group and can't lead as well, normally a younger male will challenge and likely beat you out. And so on and so on.
    Of course now with medical intervention and technology, along with understanding how cells work, better option for food for complete nutrition (not just berries and freshly killed meat), and physical exercise, we've obviously been able to extend human life expectancy to much much higher years. But also look at how much less physical one becomes and how much more fragile we are in those later years.
    So why 40? IMO (and based on evidence) it's because the human body likely wasn't made to last too much longer than that naturally.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Did you by any chance suggest he see a doctor to rule out a medical cause for this onset of unexplained aches and pains? Autoimmune diseases spring to mind, but I'm sure there are lots of other potential medical issues this could be a symptom of.
    Oh I know the majority of my aches and pains are just from wear and tear. I tennis elbow and golfers elbow, patellar tendinitis in my left knee, a little biceps tendinitis and just the old "getting out of bed" creaks and cracks. So they're not unexplained.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    ??? But you weren't talking about your aches and pains, you were talking about a client's aches and pains. Unless "asking for a client" is the new "asking for a friend"?
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    There's also the, if we breed often enough, there will be enough children who survive to help support the family. That implies that a. a bunch of infants and children were dying and b. if children started having children in their teens/preteens then they would have likely been having them into their adulthood as well.

    That said, I'm not an anthropologist.

    Not if we're talking about 10 to 13 year olds dying in child birth. If you die at 11, you won't be having any children as an adult. And for most of human "history" (not in the sense of a time when there were written records), if the mother died in childbirth, the baby died too.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 11,478Member Member Posts: 11,478Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.

    Evolution wants the strongest ones to live, and the weaker ones to die. This may not accord with our human wishes. An individual's genes may be trying to survive (I'm anthropomorphizing again), but it won't happen as reliably for those less well-adapted to whatever the conditions happen to be.

    Speaking at a cartoon level of simplification, of course.

    I'm not proposing evolution as a general force promoting species survival, but natural selection can produce an effect that looks statistically similar to what would happen if it did, among the currently-surviving species. Part of the downside of anthropomorphizing it is that that implies that I think evolution is purposeful. I don't.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 659Member Member Posts: 659Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.

    At what levels selection occurs is actually a fairly open debate in evolution. Obviously all selection ends up recorded via genes and epigenes, but that selection for genes is not a universal opinion. Individual and kin selection both have places in research. For eusocial species there's a fair amount of equivalency between a gene selection explanation and a kin selection model. Both can explain things like an individual dying for a relative or better relatives.

    I also believe the death in childbirth is something that became worse with agriculture. Hunter-gatherer lifestyles tends to involve spacing births further apart, reduced risk of disease, and oddly seem to involve more calories for labor than early agriculture.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,499Member Member Posts: 2,499Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    There's also the, if we breed often enough, there will be enough children who survive to help support the family. That implies that a. a bunch of infants and children were dying and b. if children started having children in their teens/preteens then they would have likely been having them into their adulthood as well.

    That said, I'm not an anthropologist.

    Not if we're talking about 10 to 13 year olds dying in child birth. If you die at 11, you won't be having any children as an adult. And for most of human "history" (not in the sense of a time when there were written records), if the mother died in childbirth, the baby died too.

    You're right - my logic made zero sense there. If it was say, people in their late teens, early 20s whose growth plates had closed that would have made significantly more sense.

    I would imagine that there has been plenty of research done on this. It is totally not in my field and I have no real desire to research it, but I'm more than willing to bet anthropologists of various subspecialties have researched this extensively.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.

    At what levels selection occurs is actually a fairly open debate in evolution. Obviously all selection ends up recorded via genes and epigenes, but that selection for genes is not a universal opinion. Individual and kin selection both have places in research. For eusocial species there's a fair amount of equivalency between a gene selection explanation and a kin selection model. Both can explain things like an individual dying for a relative or better relatives.

    I also believe the death in childbirth is something that became worse with agriculture. Hunter-gatherer lifestyles tends to involve spacing births further apart, reduced risk of disease, and oddly seem to involve more calories for labor than early agriculture.

    Settled agricultural lifestyles were adopted because they increased food security, thus decreasing periods of food scarcity that can induce temporary infertility. Increased fertility would naturally tend to increase death in childbirth, absent medical advances to counteract the increased opportunity for death in childbirth.

    I wasn't denying kin selection. I was questioning the idea that evolution is a force that favors early death (prior to reproduction) as a way to promote the survival of the (ever-evolving, and hence on its way to becoming a different) species as a whole.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.

    Evolution wants the strongest ones to live, and the weaker ones to die. This may not accord with our human wishes. An individual's genes may be trying to survive (I'm anthropomorphizing again), but it won't happen as reliably for those less well-adapted to whatever the conditions happen to be.

    Speaking at a cartoon level of simplification, of course.

    I'm not proposing evolution as a general force promoting species survival, but natural selection can produce an effect that looks statistically similar to what would happen if it did, among the currently-surviving species. Part of the downside of anthropomorphizing it is that that implies that I think evolution is purposeful. I don't.

    The other downside of anthropomorphizing is that it can lead to confusing the cause and the result. By speaking about the result "wanting" something, it's easy to be drawn into thinking that the result was actually the cause.

    I think it makes more sense, and is clearer, to talk about natural selection as the force ("cause" -- although a more complete picture would include mutation and environmental change as causes) and evolution as the result. Natural selection leads to survival of the genes that produce the individuals best fitted to survive and reproduce in a specific environment or environments (allowing for migration or times or relatively rapid environmental change). If the surviving pool of genes differs from the earlier pool sufficiently, evolution occurs.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 11,478Member Member Posts: 11,478Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'd also add that, based on looking back at historical statistics, evolution doesn't much care if it loses a bunch of mothers and children. It just makes sure to create plenty of extras along the way, so it can waste a few . . . quite a few, historically, in fact.

    (Yes, I'm aware I'm anthropomorphizing evolution. It's metaphorical, folks.)

    I don't know. From the standpoint of the genes carried by a given mother, a tendency to die in first childbirth seems like a really bad survival strategy. And anthropomorphizing aside, I'm not aware of any argument for evolution as some general force promoting species survival outside of the self-enforcing law of natural selection for genes.

    Evolution wants the strongest ones to live, and the weaker ones to die. This may not accord with our human wishes. An individual's genes may be trying to survive (I'm anthropomorphizing again), but it won't happen as reliably for those less well-adapted to whatever the conditions happen to be.

    Speaking at a cartoon level of simplification, of course.

    I'm not proposing evolution as a general force promoting species survival, but natural selection can produce an effect that looks statistically similar to what would happen if it did, among the currently-surviving species. Part of the downside of anthropomorphizing it is that that implies that I think evolution is purposeful. I don't.

    The other downside of anthropomorphizing is that it can lead to confusing the cause and the result. By speaking about the result "wanting" something, it's easy to be drawn into thinking that the result was actually the cause.

    I think it makes more sense, and is clearer, to talk about natural selection as the force ("cause" -- although a more complete picture would include mutation and environmental change as causes) and evolution as the result. Natural selection leads to survival of the genes that produce the individuals best fitted to survive and reproduce in a specific environment or environments (allowing for migration or times or relatively rapid environmental change). If the surviving pool of genes differs from the earlier pool sufficiently, evolution occurs.

    Whichever way we speak of it, die-off - potentially a substantial die-off - is an integral part of the process.

    My point was that the mechanisms at work are neutral to how many die (or live) along the way. If women sexually mature "too young", and breed, and die because their bodies aren't ready for childbirth . . . that's just how things work. As long as some individuals live, the species survives. Substantial die-off is not a counter-argument to the idea that we can potentially get our breeding out of the way when younger, and that (after a certain point) there isn't much survival advantage to hanging on to elders, so maybe that's why the elders' bodies start breaking down.

    This being - I thought - a casual conversation about "aches and pains at 40", and whether/why they happen, rather than a deeply technical discussion of natural selection, I'd imagined that a more casual, metaphorical phrasing would be acceptable, particularly if I pointed out that I was knowingly anthropomorphizing something that doesn't actually take conscious, purposeful actions.

    Evidently, I was wrong. Apologies! :flowerforyou:

  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Posts: 2,618Member Member Posts: 2,618Member Member
    :lol: Thanks for that cheerful and uplifting message.

    ~signed, 65 is the new 40

    Co-signed as 75 is the new 50 :D
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