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Is Chronic Joint Pain Normal As You Age?

Do you find yourself grunting more often when you get out of a chair? Are your joints achy in the evening and stiff in the morning? Are you reaching for your over-the-counter medications on a daily basis to combat chronic pain?

Though you may assume that joint pain is just part and parcel of the aging process, that isn’t necessarily the case. Here at CurePain, we make it our sole mission to help our patients in Torrance, California, and the greater Los Angeles area find relief from chronic pain.

If you’re experiencing chronic joint pain, which only gets worse with each passing year, here’s what you need to know and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Behind the pain

Far and away the most common cause of chronic joint pain is osteoarthritis, which affects 31 million people in the United States. When you add other forms of arthritis, such as inflammatory forms of the disease, this number jumps to 54 million. More sobering is the fact that experts predict that 78 million will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2040, largely due to the aging Baby Boomer population.

Outside of arthritis, injuries to the soft tissues in your joints — namely your ligaments and tendons — can lead to chronic problems, as well as bone fractures and bursitis.

Ultimately, because of the complexity of your joints, there are a number of areas that are susceptible to problems, which can lead to nagging, persistent pain that can have an incredibly widespread impact on your quality of life.

Gritting your teeth

If you find yourself in pain that’s placing increasing limitations on your activities, it’s important to note that the pain isn’t something you should simply chalk up to aging. One study on chronic pain found that almost one in five respondents reported dealing with chronic pain, yet more than half didn’t know what was causing it. More alarming still is the fact that 84% of the group dealt with their pain through over-the-counter drugs, while they waited for their bodies to remedy the situation without any outside help.

Unfortunately, if your chronic pain is caused by osteoarthritis, the disease is degenerative and the damage irreversible. If your pain is caused by something else, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not letting us get to the bottom of the issue. For example, injuries that don’t heal properly can lead to arthritis, which only compounds your problem.

The most important step in managing your chronic pain is to get it properly diagnosed. Dr. Henry Wu is both an orthopedist and interventional pain management specialist, which makes him uniquely qualified to evaluate your chronic pain, so he knows the treatments to which he can turn to help you find relief.

Beyond the pain

Thanks to ever-evolving pain management techniques, we can restore your quality of life by tackling the pain from a number of different angles. After diagnosing the underlying cause of your chronic joint pain, Dr. Wu decides which tools in his pain management arsenal will work best for your situation and your goals.

Often, Dr. Wu uses a combination approach that provides both fast-acting relief and long-term results. From steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation procedures to physical therapy and lifestyle changes, you can be proactive about putting a stop to the endless cycle of pain in which you’ve been caught.

In severe cases of joint pain, Dr. Wu uses the SimplicityTM Probe by St. Jude Medical to target specific nerve tissue in order to decrease the pain signals to your brain.

So, to answer the question originally posed in the title of this article — Is chronic joint pain normal as you age? — we firmly believe the answer is no. Pain isn’t normal under any circumstance, and we can help. To get started, please give us a call, or request an appointment by filling out the form found on this website.

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