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What You Need to Know About Aging and Arthritis

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Creaking knees, aching elbows, sore wrists?this might just seem like the cost of getting older, but in fact such pain is a serious problem when it starts to affect your life. Pain that gets in the way of your daily living might be more than a simple problem; you might have arthritis.

Fortunately, modern medicine has come a long way. You might not have to live with debilitating pain if you act to address it.

Get a Diagnosis

Finding out what exactly is causing your pain is the first step toward overcoming it. Too many people just accept chronic pain as part of life and rely on over-the-counter pain relievers that do little to address their pain?s root cause.

A doctor can help you discover whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or any of the more than 100 kinds of arthritis now recognized by medical professionals. An accurate diagnosis will help your doctor decide on a treatment plan tailored to your specific problem.

Lifestyle Changes

The best supplement to a pain-relief regimen is to improve your health. Losing weight if you are overweight, starting to exercise, and quitting smoking can all have a positive impact on your bone and joint health.

If you begin exercising, be sure to do so in a way that doesn?t make your problems worse. ?No pain, no gain? is not a phrase for aging people with arthritis. Wear good footwear and clothing, amp up activity levels slowly, and avoid high-impact exercise like jogging and jumping. Talk to your doctor about your exercise plan before you begin.

Pain Relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be a good source of relief for mild to moderate joint pain and inflammation. Stronger drugs require a prescription.

Your doctor should be able to prescribe you medicines that will help your pain without dangerous side effects.

Joint Replacement

When all else fails, replacing an aging joint may be the only way to relieve the terrible burden of arthritic pain. For many people, this surgery is a tremendous success. It gives them a new lease on life, with a mobility and lack of pain they haven?t experienced in years.

Joint replacements do carry a risk, however. Metal-on-metal artificial hips are especially risky because of the risk of corrosion that might produce metal poisoning in the blood.

DePuy Orthopaedics and Stryker Orthopaedics have experienced problems with their metal hip products, resulting in implant dislocations, infections, fracture and revision surgery.

The DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants have been particularly problematic, resulting in recalls and thousands of lawsuits from patients who experienced complications as a result of their hip implants.

If joint replacement surgery is the best option for you, make sure to talk with your doctor about the latest technology and best options for your body and your age.

Keep On Living

Don?t let arthritis ruin your life. If chronic pain is getting you down, get to a doctor and find out what pain relief regimen is the best fit for your goals.

Linda Grayling is a writer for Drugwatch.com, a consumer advocacy website. She stays up to speed on the latest medical news, including recalls and clinical trials. Join us at Drugwatch Radio for our latest podcast.

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