Woman holding wrist

“My aching joints make it hard to walk.” If you have heard yourself, or a loved one, say these words then continue reading.

Many people accept chronic joint pain as a normal part of life, often assuming nothing can be done. But, there is good news—both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available that can help relieve, if not eliminate, chronic arthritis pain.

Arthritis is quite common—about one in every five adults in the U.S. is affected by it. Arthritis is a general term referring to the inflammation and pain caused by more than 100 different types of joint conditions and diseases. The most common type is osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage between the joints to wear away. Because arthritis is complex, it should be diagnosed by a doctor, who can recommend treatment options.

Arthritis can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the country have some type of doctor-diagnosed arthritis. More common in women than men, the pain usually worsens with age for both as joints further wear down. Carrying excess body weight can also cause issues with joints and worsen arthritis pain.

Living with arthritis and chronic joint pain can be overwhelming. Many people seek relief from over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. Hot and cold compress therapy can also be used help reduce inflammation. Additionally, low-impact exercises like walking, cycling or water aerobics can help to ease arthritis pain by keeping joints moving and strengthening surrounding muscles.

Weight plays a significant role in joint stress so when people are overweight it puts stress on their joints, especially their weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. That is part of the stress on the body of people who are overweight, causing them to be at greater risk of developing arthritis. Losing even 10 percent of extra weight can have an impact on reducing pain and restoring joint function.

Other options to compliment or reduce the use of over-the-counter treatments are injections. The most common injections are corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, to provide arthritis pain relief. These are inserted directly into the hip or knee joint by an orthopedic surgeon and can provide continuous relief that can last for several months.

If managing the pain is no longer effective, then surgical options like total joint replacement can provide a life-changing option to help restore mobility. The good news is that community members do not have to leave town to receive joint replacement surgery.

Centennial Orthopedics and Podiatry, located in Roseburg, offers a full range of diagnostic procedures, and surgical services, including total hip, knee and ankle joint replacements. A minimally invasive surgical procedure, anterior hip replacement, is also available locally and has shown to reduce recovery time significantly so patients can get back to enjoying life and the activities that may have been difficult in the past like traveling, gardening, climbing stairs and exercising. The majority of patients who have joint replacement procedures and prepare for their surgery by exercising and building strength are generally able to walk immediately after surgery with reduced pain.

CHI Mercy Health’s New Strides Joint Center is designed to help patients both before and after surgery. New Strides’ nursing and physical therapy teams work closely with community surgeons to help ensure the best outcomes. They educate patients through every step of the procedure so they know what to expect to help reduce anxiety and prepare for their surgery and recovery. New Strides’ staff uses a unique group approach to physical therapy classes immediately after surgery to aid and track recovery. Mercy’s New Strides staff also works with patients to ensure their home environments are well-suited for their return, within a day or two, after surgery.

Everyone’s experience with arthritis is different. But, there may be options available for relief so you don’t have to live with chronic pain. My advice to anyone suffering from hip or knee joint pain—reach out to your physician or call our office at 541-229-2663 to explore your treatment options. It’s time to get your life back, and we can help.

Dr. Cary Sanders is an orthopedic surgeon at Centennial Orthopedics and Podiatry, a division of Centennial Medical Group in Roseburg.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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