Staying active is an important part of staying healthy, but as people age the cartilage in their joints can start deteriorating causing pain, swelling and stiffness, otherwise known as arthritis. So, more and more people are turning to doctors, like orthopedic surgeon J.P. Michaud, for help. Dr. Michaud says people are “looking for solutions for improved knee, hip, shoulder function. Decrease their pain, increase their function and what they want to do is to do activities of daily living, but also outdoors activities, sports activities as they grow older.”
And Michaud says that IS an option, as new treatments are available and although some of those treatments do require surgery, like a total knee or hip replacement, there are some other, less invasive options. Physician assistant Scott Walton says there are options like “topical creams, some medication, some activity modification, physical therapy, different modalities are available to lessen the symptoms so that they stay more active.” Michaud adds that there are also “braces, injection and the agents that we use to treat arthritis are constantly changing. So as we go along, every so many years, there’s more advances in the treatments that we can offer.”
Both Michaud and Walton say it’s important to talk with your doctor to make sure you are up to date on the latest treatment options. Walton says that’s because it’s been “found that when patients are informed they’re knowledgeable, they’re confident, then they ask better questions and they become, really informed consumers of their healthcare and their outcomes are better and they do better.”
Michaud adds that prevention is still the best option, so it’s important for young people to really follow through on the proper training and body mechanics to prevent future injury. But even if you get an arthritis diagnosis, that doesn’t have to mean the end of your active life. With proper management you can still live life to the fullest for years to come.