Knee and hip pain often result from progressive arthritis, the most common form of which is degenerative arthritis (also known as osteoarthritis). Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing away of cartilage, the cushion within joints. This leads to bone-on-bone contact in the joints and generally occurs because of aging, a congenital abnormality of the joint or previous trauma to the joint.
Osteoarthritis can lead to a number of conditions, including pain during activities; swelling or tenderness around the joint; limited range of motion; and functional limitation, such as difficulty climbing stairs.
Relief from osteoarthritis does not necessarily require surgery. The appropriate course of treatment starts with an examination. Treatment should proceed gradually and can include physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine and pain management. Tailoring treatment to a patient's needs throughout the entire continuum of care leads to better outcomes. Although surgery is usually the last resort, significant advances in orthopedic surgery have resulted in vastly improved outcomes.
To find out whether you might benefit from therapeutic intervention to address your knee and hip pain, answer the following questions:
• Does your pain interfere with your quality of life?
• Do you have hip or knee pain that restricts you from performing any recreational activities, such as hiking, sports or cycling?
• Do you have hip or knee pain that restricts you from performing any daily household activities, such as laundry, vacuuming or cleaning?
• Do you have hip or knee pain that limits you in performing daily functional activities, such as dressing, bathing or grooming?
• Do you have pain at night that significantly interferes with your sleeping?
• Do you have significant pain or difficulty with stairs or hills?
• Do you have difficulty walking or loss of balance?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should have your problems evaluated.
The Joint Care Center at Northern Nevada Medical Center is a comprehensive program designed to reduce your knee and hip pain and restore your lifestyle. At NNMC, we have brought together an experienced team of experts who use innovative techniques and technology to help you return to productive living.
I offer a free, monthly seminar on joint pain, which provides an overview of arthritis of the hips and knees. I also explain methods of diagnosing the condition and describe options for therapy and treatment. The next seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on April 9 at NNMC.
Having your condition evaluated and learning your options are the first steps to relief from joint pain. I encourage you to take an active role in your return to productive living. Participants can qualify for a free, 15-minute appointment to assess problems and provide recommendations for treatment.
To schedule a free appointment or to attend the seminar, call 356-4960.
Steven Hallan is the director of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at Northern Nevada Medical Center and has 15 years of experience as an outpatient physical therapist. He is a credentialed McKenzie therapist, specializing in disorders of the spine and peripheral joint problems. Hallan bases his treatment on a detailed dynamic evaluation of the spine or joint involved. Therapy includes manual techniques, stretches and exercise to resolve the problem plus educating the patient on preventing a recurrence of the injury. The Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center is located on the Northern Nevada Medical Center campus in the Sparks Medical Office Building at 2385 E. Prater Way, Suite 301. To schedule an appointment, call 356-4960.