Close to 27 million adults suffer from osteoarthritis. Both men and women, under the age of 55, seem to suffer symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) equally. However, after age 55, typically following menopause, this disease is more commonly diagnosed in women. In fact, women tend to suffer more severe symptoms than their similarly aged male counterparts. At the present time, there is no cure for OA, but I am happy to report that there are many treatment options, daily routines and healthy lifestyle habits that can slow the progression.
Osteoarthritis affects the joints in the body; as the surface cartilage on the end of the bones become thinner, rougher and starts to wear down, bones are exposed and consequently rub against each other. Suddenly, many individuals discover it is increasingly difficult to get out of bed due to achy joints, stiffness and pain. If left untreated, OA can limit daily activities and eventually lead to disability. Different types of OA can affect different joints. Commonly included among these are the knees, hips, spine and big toe.
As mentioned, stiffness and painful joints are the main symptom. Pain is often worse after exercising. There may be stiffness after resting. Some individuals report a sort of creaking sounds when moving certain joints and indicate that swelling reduces their range of motion. It is important to note that breaks in your exercise routine can actually make the symptoms of OA worse. In fact, exercise, along with weight loss, can help you manage joint pain, feel better and engage in activities of daily living. Coupled with exercise, dietary changes, physical therapy, medication and even body positioning and posture can help improve joint function.
If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, I invite you to join us for the next Red Hot Mamas seminar. We will be discussing the symptoms, treatment options including weight management, exercise, physical therapy, drug therapy and for severe OA, surgical interventions. Remember, OA is not just a condition that marks our age. There are a variety of ways to permanently treat it and restore the wonderful joy of movement.
I am hosting the Red Hot Mamas Seminar on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at Portneuf Medical Center. The event will focus on “Osteoarthritis and Restoring the Joy of Movement.” Doors open at 6pm; the presentation begins at 6:30. Light refreshments will be served. To reserve a seat, call Portneuf Community Education and Events Line at 208-239-1401.
Red Hot Mamas monthly seminars are physician-presented and cover a wide range of topics relating to the physical and psychological stresses that can accompany this phase in a woman’s life. To learn more about PMC’s upcoming seminars including Red Hot Mamas, be sure to like Portneuf Medical Center on Facebook.