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Image: Cathy Yeulet/ Thinkstock
Everyday pain becomes more constant as you age. It can vary from morning aches to occasional joint flare-ups to recurrent episodes that interfere with your life and overall health.
Yet pain has a valuable role. It alerts your systems to potential injury so you can seek treatment. "Pain is similar to blood pressure, which becomes a problem if the levels become too high," says Dr. Jianren Mao, director of the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Translational Pain Research. "Only when pain becomes intolerable should you resort to medication or other types of treatment."
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