Joint Trauma & Injuries
Treatment of post-traumatic arthritis may include strengthening exercises and pain medication. The more we minimize discomfort, the more the patient feels like moving again.
Injuries to the knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles should not be ignored, even if they seem minor. Some of the ways that your body tells you it is damaged include swelling, reduced range of motion (i.e., you can’t swing your arm over your head) and, of course, pain.
As many as 15% of knee injuries are thought to be traceable to an incident that happened when the patient was between 18 and 45 years old.
More attention to protecting the knees and avoiding injury during these years could translate into more comfortable adult years for millions of people.
If you suffer a sports-related injury, it’s important to see the doctor, and stay off the playing field with a fresh injury. While you may still be able to run and jump and hit, the joint will be taking a beating while it should be starting to heal.
If you are the victim of an ancient injury, there’s not much you can to undo the damage. For patients with osteoarthritis, the goal is pain relief. While your joints may protest a bit, gentle exercise is a good antidote. Stretching, aerobics and cardio exercise, in addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, will keep your joints as nimble as possible.
Living With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, no matter the cause, is chronic and incurable. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to keep you from engaging in activities you love. Patients who are armed with some knowledge and the desire to have a healthy and active lifestyle will find ways to do so.
If and when the pain becomes an impediment to a healthy lifestyle, you can discuss your options with Dr. Shaw. Cortisone injections are helpful for some patients if more conservative treatments aren’t effective.
Some patients are able to manage very well with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Osteoarthritis is above all a lifestyle disease. By adapting one’s lifestyle to conform with the situation, most people find it’s quite tolerable.