It’s a group no one wants to join, and yet as many as 10 million Americans are members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Resulting from the wearing away of cartilage with time, osteoarthritis regularly effects larger joints, like the knees, and is often debilitating to a senior’s total wellbeing. With three primary recommended treatment solutions – over-the-counter meds to help reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen, prescription painkillers such as tramadol, or physical therapy – many of those with osteoarthritis have reconciled themselves to a lifetime of limping, discomfort, modified exercise levels, and of course, chronic arthritis pain.
And while knee replacement surgery can be helpful for some, not all arthritis sufferers are eligible; or, the health risks associated with this type of invasive procedure are too great, especially for senior citizens. Now, however, an exciting new procedure has entered the arena, and provides great relief from chronic pain and without the 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 dramatic reduction in soreness, swelling and stiffness also makes it possible for many patients to reduce their dependence on prescription drugs and to resume – or get started on – a more active lifestyle, producing better overall health and wellness.
Similar to injections of cortisone, long-lasting but temporary relief from aches and pains is usually realized for a period of around six to twelve months. Requiring only local anesthetic, the treatment is conducted on an outpatient basis within as little as 40 minutes. Risks and recovery time are minimal, and yet it’s important to keep in mind that the treatment does not transform, slow down, or stop the advancement of osteoarthritis. But for many people, quality of everyday life is considerably enhanced as suffering is lessened significantly.
Are you or a senior loved one struggling with arthritis pain? Just a little help and support can go a long way towards enhancing wellbeing for seniors with chronic issues such as osteoarthritis and any other conditions of aging, whether through assisting with household chores and laundry, taking care of buying groceries and preparing meals, making sure medicines are taken exactly as prescribed, or offering cheerful companionship to brighten up the day. Call the St. Joseph home health care professionals at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care at 269-849-9252 to learn more ways that we can be of assistance!