Expert Advice: Managing Pain Over 50

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As a family physician and former team doctor to the Toronto Argonauts, Dr. David Greenberg has treated many sports injuries and prescribed or recommended lots of different medications for pain. Moreover, at 57, he’s experienced the results of an athletic life himself. “I had both hips replaced at 51 and my foot reconstructed at 54,” he says. “After high school, I became more of a weekend warrior than a competitive athlete, but it has still taken its toll,” Greenberg says. “We say that as athletes, it’s 35 when we lose the step,” he explains, “but it’s at 50 when we really notice the change in our bodies.”

Dr. David Greenberg

Four out of five Canadians experience significant health changes after the age of 50 and Greenberg confirms that many of the patients he’s treated in his practice for the past 26 years are now presenting with issues of heart disease, high blood pressure, stomach and kidney issues. “There are a number of considerations before recommending pain relievers for this age group,” Greenberg explains. “It’s much more sophisticated than for someone in their 20s.”

That’s why he recommends TYLENOL® as a suitable choice for pain management. “It is unlikely to cause an exacerbation of risks for conditions such as high blood pressure,” he advises. “TYLENOL® works. More importantly, it is the #1 doctor recommended pain reliever for Canadians living with high blood pressure.”

While medical professionals are the most consulted resources when considering non-prescription pain medications, one in five Canadians over the age of 50 rely on personal experience when choosing these meds, and there is limited awareness of the risk involved in consuming specific brands of non-prescription pain meds.

“That row of shelving dedicated to analgesics is like the choices in the cereal aisle. It can be overwhelming,” Greenberg says. “Many of the products are combination drugs and it’s important not to take more than one product with the same ingredients. Asking for professional advice is always a good idea. If it’s 2 a.m., ask the pharmacist. There’s an excellent resource.” One out of three Canadians uses non-prescription pain medications at least once a week but only 1 in 10 have been advised to change those meds to suit lifestyle and health.

“As a general practitioner, I find very few patients ask what they should take,” Greenberg confirms. “If there’s no one to ask, consider TYLENOL®. It’s a good pain relief choice, in appropriate doses (no more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen a day).” He finds that patients seem to believe that if it’s not a prescription, it’s not important to mention. “Tell your doctor about everything that goes in your mouth,” he advises.


The #1 doctor recommended pain reliever for those living with high blood pressure. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the right non-prescription pain medication for you.

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