Patrick A. Meere, M.D.

Arthritis is at an all-time high. Here’s what that means for your joints

Over the past several decades, advances in technology have led to some amazing things. We can now connect with others around the world in the blink of an eye, travel into space to seek alternative living situations, and provide state of the art medical care, just like the robotic tools that are used in my own office. It’s truly amazing to think of what’s possible for the future.

At the same time, technology has changed the way that we live and work in some challenging ways. For example, in many offices in New York and around the globe, daily schedules revolve around computer screens, phones, and keyboards. Much office work is done sitting down. Many people commute by sitting in trains, buses, shared cars, or other public transportation options. Instead of going out on the town, we look for dates on apps, crane our necks to look at our phones, and spend hours trying to level up on games in imaginary lands. And at the end of the day, we unwind by grabbing dinner or a drink in a bar or a booth, or hanging out  on the couch to catch up on a favorite on-demand show. Like it or not, this is life in 2017.

With this type of lifestyle, it’s no wonder that a recent article by AARP reported an increase in arthritis among individuals, including those under the age of 65. Simply put, less motion and movement leads to a higher risk of developing it.

From the report:

“This is not your mother’s arthritis. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an old person’s disease,” acting CDC director Anne Schuchat, M.D., told reporters during a teleconference. Of the 54 million Americans who report being diagnosed with arthritis, some 32 million are of working age (18 to 64), including 24 million adults ages 45 to 64, according to the latest CDC figures.

While arthritis might not seem like a big deal in theory, it can have huge ramifications in individuals, no matter their age. Overtime, untreated arthritis can eat away at natural bone, causing aches and pains, particularly in joints. This can make even everyday activities, like walking, running, biking, and simply standing up, almost unbearable.

If you do find that you have developed arthritis or are experiencing joint pain that is chronic and debilitating, you might be a candidate for a joint replacement surgery. Today, there are many options for treatment, including partial replacements and minimally invasive procedures that spare muscle, have reduced scarring, and require less recovery time than more traditional methods.

Of course, the best type of joint procedure is no procedure at all. Taking care of your joints now can help you prevent a surgery down the line. The report continues to explain how even moderate activity, such as taking breaks at work or running after, can have a big impact on the way our bodies do or don’t develop arthritis.

If you have any questions about arthritis or joint pain, don’t deal with them alone; contact us today for more information about your options for treatment.