“I sprained my hamstring!” “I didn’t break it. I fractured it.” “He had a bad ankle strain.” Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and most medical professionals cringe when we hear this at parties, in the media, or our clinic. The tactful among us do their best to resist the urge to correct, but let’s face it, we are only human.
More and more health care providers are seeing an increase in “Boomeritis,” a term coined by Nicholas DiNubile in 1999, referring to the musculoskeletal injuries that the aging athlete in the baby boomer generation, 1946-1964, are experiencing. This group of athletes is the first generation to grow up exercising and continue exercising well into their 70s. The musculoskeletal injuries in Boomeritis include tendon, muscle, and ligament tears and stress fractures. While these injuries can happen at any age, physiologic changes with age make this generation more susceptible to developing these problems.