It’s a club none of us wants to be a part of; nevertheless, as many as 10 million Americans are members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Caused by the wearing away of cartilage over the years, osteoarthritis often affects larger joints, such as the knees, and can be debilitating to a senior’s quality of life. With three main recommended treatment plans – over-the-counter medications to decrease inflammation such as ibuprofen, prescription painkillers such as tramadol, or physical therapy – a great many people with osteoarthritis have reconciled themselves to a life of limping, discomfort, modified activity levels, and not surprisingly, chronic pain.
And despite the fact that knee replacement surgery could be beneficial for some people, not all arthritis sufferers are eligible; or, the health risks that come with such an invasive treatment are too great, in particular for aging adults. Now, however, an impressive new procedure has entered the arena, and offers great relief from chronic pain and without the potential risks or side effects of the other alternatives. Known as cooled radio frequency ablation (“Coolief”), the treatment works by “…changing the wiring of the knee…taking away the pain signal and interrupting it,” according to Dr. Amin Sandeep, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center. The remarkable reduction in discomfort, inflammation and stiffness also allows many patients to reduce their dependence on prescription medications and to return to – or get started on – a more active lifestyle, leading to better overall health and wellbeing.
Very similar to injections of cortisone, long-lasting but temporary respite from pain is commonly realized for around six to twelve months. Calling for only local anesthetic, the procedure is conducted on an outpatient basis within as little as 40 minutes. Potential risks and recovery time are minimal; nonetheless, it’s important to bear in mind that the treatment cannot transform, slow, or stop the progression of osteoarthritis. However for many individuals, quality of everyday life is greatly improved as pain is decreased significantly.
Are you or an elderly loved one dealing with the effects of osteoarthritis? Just a little support will go a considerable way towards improving quality of life for seniors with chronic health concerns such as osteoarthritis and other conditions of aging, whether through helping with housekeeping and laundry, taking care of shopping for groceries and preparing meals, making certain prescribed medicines are taken exactly as prescribed, or offering friendly companionship to cheer up the day. Call North River Home Care in Cape Cod and the surrounding area at (781) 659-1366 to learn more ways that we can be of assistance!