Dr. Nikesh Seth regularly sees patients in their 40s and 50s who are rejecting the term “middle-aged” for the trendier “mid-century modern,” and just like fabulous vintage houses you’ll probably notice some groans at this age—and the need for a little “updating.” Integrated Pain Consultants specializes in treating osteoarthritis, but many patients don’t realize their minor complaints are actually common symptoms. It might start with a stiff knee in the morning or a swollen finger. Is it just part of being mid-century modern, or is it the early stages of osteoarthritis? It may be both if you fall within this age range.
Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that’s on the rise thanks to the influx of baby boomers (well beyond mid-century at this point, but still suffering from osteoarthritis) as well as obesity. The disease happens when protective cartilage is worn down, and bones rub against each other. Sometimes younger people have osteoarthritis. However, recent research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology reveals that those in the 18-64 age category are vastly under-diagnosed.
A May 2018 story in The Spokesman Review showcased the story of 52-year-old Joanna Cable. She was suffering from early arthritis in her hips, knees, and back. “The pain got pretty bad about a year ago,” she said. Cable is active, an avid cycler, skier, and yogi. She liked gardening and playing tennis with her family. However, at the age of 51, she needed surgery in both hips and has since been in physical and nutritional therapy.
The mid-century modern crowd is much more active than generations before them, but that comes at a cost. Activity means more wear and tear on the body, which is already happening with the aging process. Ignoring early warning signs such as minor pain, stiffness, and swelling because you think it’s all part of getting older is a mistake.
Cumulative minor injuries add up and increase the odds of osteoarthritis. You don’t need a serious trauma to occur. Instead, osteoarthritis slowly “builds up” so you may not even notice the signs. Preventing osteoarthritis, or slowing it down, requires keeping a healthy weight and safe movement that isn’t unnecessarily wearing on the bones and joints. Walking, stretching, and light exercise are all helpful. Joint replacement surgery is often preventable, but requires early detection and treatment. Call Integrated Pain Consultants today at 480-626-2552 if you have early signs of osteoarthritis.