Is Joint Pain Holding You Back
As our days get longer and the weather nicer here in the Pioneer Valley, more people are eager to be active and outside, whether it’s getting out for a bike ride, taking a walk, going for a hike or just getting down and dirty in the garden. For others it’s a time of wishing they could do what they once could, but are held back by joint pain and what they think is “just a part of getting older.” That’s not always the case and an orthopedic surgeon may be able to help you get back to doing the
things you love.
An orthopedic provider is someone who specializes in bone, joint and muscle injuries that were caused by a specific instance or have developed over time. So when is the right time to visit an orthopedist?
An orthopedist is a specialist that you should visit after consulting with your primary care provider. This is a recommendation for any ailment you may be affected by; you should always begin with a PCP who knows you and your medical history. A PCP is able to start you with some of the initial diagnoses and remedies, such as x-rays, pain medication, rest or physical therapy.
When initial remedies do not work, and bone, joint or muscle pain effects your daily life, or even worse – your sleep, it’s time to visit an orthopedist. The orthopedist is then able to coordinate care together with your PCP and physical therapist to find the best way to manage your pain and improve function and lifestyle.
A majority of people who see an orthopedic provider for joint pain are living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis often causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limits the range of motion of a person’s joints. The deterioration of cartilage due to arthritis in the joints can cause the bones to touch and grind, leading to pain.
Some are able to find relief through non-surgical avenues, while others find relief with orthopedic surgery. If you are tired of living in pain, it may be time for you to see an orthopedic surgeon. And just because you meet with a surgeon, it does not mean that you will need to have surgery. A nice thing about orthopedic surgery is that it is often an elective surgery. If you are a candidate for surgery, you can decide how severe your pain is and how long you want to live with it before making that choice.
Noah Epstein, MD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with Holyoke Medical Center Orthopedic Center. To schedule an appointment, please call 413.536.5814