Sports / Orthopedic

Don’t Let Joint Pain Steal Your Joy: Understand Your Options and Take Control

Apr 18 2024

Joint pain. It’s a phrase that can strike fear into the hearts of many, conjuring images of limited mobility and a decline in overall well-being.

However, what if we told you that for a significant portion of the population suffering from ongoing joint pain, there’s a path toward a more active and fulfilling life?

Studies show a startling reality: 90 percent of Americans with osteoarthritis experience dramatic improvements in their quality of life through knee replacement surgery. However, fear and misconceptions often prevent people from seeking the help they need.

Joint pain isn’t just a physical discomfort; it can significantly impact every aspect of your life. Simple, everyday tasks, from climbing stairs to getting dressed, can become hurdles. Additionally, activities you once enjoyed, like playing with your grandchildren or taking long walks, might seem out of reach. This loss of mobility can lead to a domino effect, with increased risk of weight gain, depression and social isolation.

Frederick DeWeese, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Mercy Health — Western Kentucky Orthopedics, emphasizes this point.

“People often think they should just ‘deal with’ joint pain. But the truth is, it can have a serious impact on their overall health and happiness. Living with constant pain can drain your energy and make it difficult to participate fully in life.”

Going back to osteoarthritis, it is a condition where the cartilage in cushioning your joints breaks down, making it the leading culprit behind chronic joint pain. Age, injuries, genetics and weight are all contributing factors. And while there’s no cure for it, there are ways to manage the pain and improve your mobility.

Treatment options for osteoarthritis include:

  • Physical therapy: Strengthening the muscles around your joints can provide support and stability, reducing pain and improving movement.
  • Medication: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs and injections can help manage discomfort and inflammation.
  • Lifestyle changes: Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise can all contribute to better joint health.

And for some individuals, especially those experiencing severe pain and limited mobility, joint replacement surgery can be a life-changing option.

This surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one, restoring function and alleviating pain.

Dr. DeWeese highlights the importance of regular consultations with your primary care provider.  

“Don’t try to self-diagnose your pain,” he advises. “A doctor can assess your situation and discuss the full range of treatment options available to you.”

Here at Mercy Health, we understand the challenges you face when living with joint pain.

That’s why we’re offering a new online tool to empower you on your journey toward a more active life: our joint risk assessment tool!

This confidential online tool is designed to help you understand your joint pain, specifically hip and knee pain, and explore potential treatment options.

Here’s how it works:

  • Personalize your journey: The tool starts by gathering some basic information about you.
  • Understand your pain: You’ll then be asked a series of questions about the severity and frequency of your pain, and how it affects your daily activities.
  • Receive tailored recommendations: Based on your answers, the tool provides personalized recommendations that may include:
    • Self-care tips for managing pain and improving mobility.
    • Educational resources about joint health and treatment options.
    • A referral for a consultation with one of our health care providers for further evaluation.

Want to learn more about your joint health? Take our online joint risk assessment today.

Also, learn about orthopedic services we provide at Mercy Health.

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