It’s good to be #1, but not when it comes to suffering. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the U.S. Nearly 53 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis…and that number is expected to grow to 67 million by 2030.
So, what to do?
First, awareness. While arthritis is a common term, it isn’t very well understood by the general population. Many of us understand arthritis as a single disease, however this chronic condition is an umbrella term that covers over 100 types of joint problems. Arthritis can generally be defined as pain and inflammation in the joints, and common symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion, that can go from mild to severe.
Arthritis is not fully preventable; however, early assessment and treatment can slow down the process of wear remarkably. The clinicians at OrthoNOW routinely see patients who suffer from one of the most common types of arthritis: osteoarthritis (OA). These patients often come in looking for symptomatic relief for their joint pain. “There is a smooth surface at the end of the bones in our joints that makes moving around painless and natural. When that surface degenerates, you lose the smooth surface, which can be extremely painful for the patient”, says Dr. Scott Sandilands from OrthoNOW Doral.
OrthoNOW’s clinicians recommend those suffering from OA to undergo a physical exam, X-rays, and at times, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While there are some procedures recommended for OA patients, such as joint injections, our clinicians strongly encourage patients to incorporate preventative methods to their routines to ensure good health and strong bones. Some of these methods are dieting, maintaining a healthy weight, preventing injuries to your bones, and exercising on the regular.
It’s important to stay away from self-diagnosing. If you are accustomed to bouncing out of bed in the A.M. and suddenly one morning your joints start to hurt, you need professionals to assess your pain and identify the cause. While it could be signs of OA, it could also be signs of other conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, sprains or muscle strains.
If diagnosed with OA, your provider may recommend one or more medications. However, the experts at OrthoNOW stress the importance of proper exercise to strengthen and tone your muscles. Doing so with the neck, for example, will help flexibility and strength in the spine. Another exercise, knee extensions, can help with the fluidity of knee movements, as well as stability.
“Move, move, move,” say the experts at OrthoNOW…not just for the health of your joints, but for the additional weight that may creep on if you are too sedentary—also not good for your joints.
While it is important to consult with your doctor about undertaking any new exercise, here are several recommendations from the sages at OrthoNOW:
- Physical therapy—for instruction on proper movement and stretching
- Gentle yoga—can improve strength and flexibility
- Walking—work with a professional to develop a walking plan that can help rebuild the cartilage in your joints
And if you’re seeking something positive in the arthritis journey, here are a few possibilities:
- Stress management—everyone needs it, you do it as part of your OA treatment plan.
- More warm baths—can ease OA pain.
- Support group—find information and camaraderie while learning that you are not alone on this journey.
In addition, many patients experience pain relief and support for tissues with supplements. Created by the orthopedic specialists at OrthoNOW, the OrthoNourish™ supplement line is part of OrthoNOW’s commitment to providing comprehensive orthopedic care for people experiencing joint pain. Additionally, OrthoNOW also offers electro neuro muscular therapy, also known as ENMT, a therapy that combines electrical muscle stimulation with an orthopedic expert administered protocol to reduce pain, recover from injury, and prevent injuries from occurring.
For more information about OrthoNOW’s locations and services, including workers comp and corporate wellness, visit www.orthonowcare.com or download our award-winning mobile app at www.orthonowmobileapp.com.
OrthoNOW®, the nation’s only orthopedic care franchise, is focused on assessment and treatment of a range of orthopedic and sports injuries, chronic conditions, and preventative protocols – all on a walk-in basis. Specialties include anything related to the foot, ankle, knee, hip, wrist, hand, elbow, shoulder and spine.
Every OrthoNOW is equipped with digital imaging equipment and offers the latest techniques and treatments by a team of orthopedic clinicians and orthopedic specialized ancillary providers including Electro Neuro Muscular Therapy (ENMT) which dramatically alleviates acute and chronic pain and expedites recovery time from surgery.
OrthoNOW’s mobile app features a revolutionary feature called On My Way NOW® which allows patients to notify an OrthoNOW Center that they are in route, the reason they’re coming and what time they expect to arrive. The recently upgraded app v2.0 for iPhone users includes integration with Uber. OrthoNOW’s flagship Center is in Doral, Florida, with franchised Centers in Florida and Georgia. Centers are coming soon to Michigan, Ohio and beyond.