Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, affects almost 30 million Americans today, reports the Centers for Disease Control, and potentially will impact up to 60 million people by 2030, according to an article in Arthritis & Rheumatism. Here’s what happens: When the protective tissue around the bones wears down, it can cause joint stiffness and pain that builds over time, especially in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers, and the bases of the thumbs and big toes.
While osteoarthritis can impact people of all ages and builds, studies have shown that weight and joint pain are closely connected. Small gains can make a big difference on our weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. Knee and hip pain can become so debilitating for some that even simple tasks can be challenging, like walking down the stairs or getting out of a car.
Now, meet 60-year-old Angel, from Farmingdale, NY, a woman who rarely sat still. Whether she was taking a casual run around her neighborhood, or hitting the dance floor at a wedding, Angel was always on the go. However, she started to notice pain in her right hip, which gradually became worse. Eventually the pain was so intolerable that Angel would dread getting up to do something as routine as going to the bathroom.
Angel was too young to feel this old, and live her life in pain, so she spoke to her doctor, who recommended a hip replacement. Before her surgery, Angel diligently went to physical therapy to prepare her body for the hip replacement procedure, as well as to aid with her recovery. Following the operation, she followed a similar routine to help her get back on her feet as quickly as possible.
It’s been two years since Angel received her new hip, and she’s more active than ever. She’s taking baking classes on the weekend, and started hiking, which she only could have dreamed about when osteoarthritis caused her to put her life on “pause.” What’s more, she confidently walks 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day, and is thrilled she’s lost 20 pounds.
If, like Angel, you’re experiencing hip or knee pain that’s impacting the daily routines and activities you love, take action and talk to your doctor now. You don’t have to live your life on “pause.” Managing osteoarthritis pain with lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthier diet and exercising, among other treatments, can lead to greater physical capability and independence, and overall quality of life.
Please make sure to visit TimeToHitPlay.com today for more information about hip and knee pain or to find a doctor near you to discuss potential treatment options.