If there is one thing to make you feel older, it’s aches and pains that limit your normal activity. As you age, the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together can become stiff. This can lead to aching, soreness and pain.
However, arthritis and other disorders can develop. Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as, “wear and tear” of the joints, is very common in middle age and elderly individuals.
It's important to listen to your body and know when we can treat it ourselves and when the aches and pains might be a sign of something serious. Pay attention to the following situations to help your doctor diagnose your condition correctly.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor. Some of the possible conditions include:
While many joint conditions may be irreversible, the pain and functional limitation can be treatable. Treatments range from lifestyle changes to medications to surgery, and should usually be tried in that order.
If all else fails to relieve your pain and disability, and if appropriate, your doctor may recommend surgery in which an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. These artificial joints, made out of metal and plastic, can be extremely effective in restoring movement and function.
Medical attention should be obtained immediately if the pain gets intense, your joint suddenly becomes inflamed or deformed, or you can no longer use the joint at all.
By paying attention to your body and consulting your doctor as needed, you can help alleviate some of the aches and pain, as well as optimize function for years to come.
To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic specialists, call 330.835.5533 or visit summahealth.org/orthopedic.
Ben Burkam, M.D., CAQSM
Summa Health Orthopedic Institute