New year is a time when many of us carry out a bit of a “life audit”, looking at what is working in our lives and what we would like to change. Health and wellbeing often features on the list but not always in the number one slot.
As orthopaedic surgeons we believe that putting good health at the top of your New Year wishlist could make a dramatic difference to every aspect of your life.
We see many people who have lived with chronic pain for a long time before seeking medical help. Often, this pain has been gradually worsening but people have soldiered on in the mistaken belief that nothing can be done for degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, or severe sports injuries.
This is not the case so if you are living with chronic pain, why not make this new year the time that you resolve to do something about it? Here are eight things you may not know about orthopaedic pain…
1. You don’t just have to put up with it
Being in constant pain can have a detrimental effect on many different areas of your life but medical advances mean you don’t just have to put up with it. Talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. If you are taking medication but the pain is worsening you may need a different dose, or an alternative approach to pain management. Don’t suffer in silence.
2. There are many new techniques that could help
Recent advances in medical technology mean that, in addition to pain medication, injections of corticosteroids into the joint can be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy belongs to a branch of medicine called regenerative medicine. It uses the natural healing properties of platelets – taken from the patient’s own body – to encourage more rapid and effective healing.
3. Joint replacement is now a routine surgical procedure
In severe cases of osteoarthritis or injury when pain relief is no longer effective, you may be offered joint replacement surgery. Joint replacement is now a routine surgical procedure.
According to the 15th annual report of the National Joint Registry, more joint replacements were carried out in 2018 than ever before – up by 10,000 to around 252,250. If you are experiencing severe and debilitating pain, talk to your orthopaedic surgeon about joint replacement surgery. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be offered a partial or a total joint replacement.
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4. The first step is to get a diagnosis
You may already have a diagnosis but, if you don’t, it is important to get one. Once you know what is causing your pain, you will be able to discuss treatment options with an orthopaedic specialist. If it is some time since your original diagnosis and the pain is worsening, your treatment plan may need to be updated.
5. There are some things you can do to help yourself
Maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and doing stretches and strengthening exercises can all help to reduce pain and keep you as mobile as possible.
6. Pain affects both physical and mental health
Living with constant pain is tiring. It can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life, preventing you from doing some of the things you love to do. Chronic pain is linked to low mood and depression.
7. There are many success stories that could inspire you
It can be very inspiring to read about other people who have undergone joint replacement surgery and who now have a new lease of life after living with chronic pain. Read comments from patients who have recently undergone surgery with us.
8. New year is the ideal time to take action
Of course, seeking help at any time of year is a good idea but because so many of us are hard-wired to re-assess our lives at new year, this is a good time to make promises to yourself about your health. By putting health and wellbeing at the top of your New Year wishlist you can help to make 2020 a good year.
Orthopaedic specialist | London
Mr Vivek Gulati is an experienced orthopaedic consultant with the expertise to perform non-surgical treatments or joint replacement surgery.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The London Clinic – 116 Harley Street, London, W1G 7JL, Directions
BMI The London Independent Hospital, 1 Beaumont Square, Stepney Green, London, E1 4NL, Directions
Our Consultation Fees are clearly presented here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your treatment options with a specialist, please contact the team.