knee braceBoomeritis is a term I learned several years ago while reading an article about baby boomers. Since our generation ushered in the exercise craze, it should have been no surprise to learn that boomers were getting arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and many other “itis” type conditions. The term was coined by Dr. Nicholas A. DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and refers to the veritable explosion of bone and joint aches, pains, injuries and ailments of older amateur athletes.

Boomeritis: Injuries to older amateur athletes, especially those who are part of the Baby Boom, born when there was a marked rise in the birthrate following the end of World War II in 1945. As the Baby Boom generation began to turn 40 and 50, there was a veritable explosion of bone and joint aches, pains, injuries, and ailments — boomeritis.

I got a kick out of this the first time I read about it. I chuckled to myself and thought, it takes our generation to come up with another new word. At that time, I couldn’t relate. Several years later, I have a different perspective.

Next, I was reading another article which poked fun at boomers who are weekend warriors. They do nothing physical all week, then they put things in high gear on the weekends by biking too many miles or horseback riding for long hours leaving them stiff and sore on Monday.

Again, I chuckled. But then it dawned on me. These articles were speaking of me. Could that be? yoga poseI remembered how I tore my ACL while playing tennis with my son one weekend. He was 18 at the time and I was, well a boomer. I’d hit a bit of tennis that summer, walked five days a week, but was in no shape to take my racket and go all out playing like I was a kid again.

The first half hour felt great. I was going strong and felt as if I could almost keep up with him. Then I turned to run and hit a backhand, and down I went. I knew what I’d done because I’d torn the other ACL years back while playing soccer with the kids. Will this old gal ever learn? It seems I’m in good company. According to an article written by Bill Pennington and published in the New York Times, sports-related injuries to baby boomers rose 33 percent between 1991 and 1998.

Since there are many other boomers facing boomeritis, I thought I’d share some tips that might keep you from being the next emergency room patient.

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Boomeritis

  1. Include cardiovascular activities, flexibility exercises and moderate weight training in your weekly regimen.
  2. Stretch before and after any physical activity.
  3. Incorporate yoga, walking, swimming and cycling which are less stressful on your joints.
  4. Do something physical each day, even if it’s just a brief walk at lunch time.
  5. Do not begin a sport from your youth without taking the time to train at a slow pace.
  6. Use properly fitting equipment for your sport (i.e. the right golf clubs, the correct shoes for running).
  7. Know your supplements. Make sure you’re getting enough Calcium, Glucosamine and Chondroitin. The combination of these three supplements will help improve joint flexibility and bone health. Consider liquid supplements, like Elations ( that are typically more absorbable in the body than pills.
  8. Wear the appropriate braces for past injuries. If you suffered from tennis elbow, make sure you’re wearing your elbow brace. Keep the right equipment for any ankle, back or knee injuries. 
  9. Stop as soon as your body tells you to do so.
  10. Consult a sports medicine physician as soon as you feel an ache or pain.

For additional health tips on how to avoid “Boomeritis” visit

Dotsie Bregel is Founder of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women, and the wildly popular Web site, the # 1 site for “baby boomer women” online.  She is passionate about empowering and educating midlife women.


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