It is a group none of us want to join, even so, as many as 10 million Americans have become members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Resulting from the wearing away of cartilage over time, osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, frequently impacts bigger joints, such as the knees, and can be debilitating to a senior’s quality of life. With three primary recommended treatment solutions – over-the-counter drugs to help reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen, prescription painkillers such as tramadol, or physical therapy – many people with osteoarthritis have resigned themselves to a life of limping, suffering, modified exercise levels, and not surprisingly, chronic pain.
And despite the fact that knee replacement surgery may be beneficial for some people, not all arthritis sufferers are suitable; or, the potential risks associated with such an invasive treatment are too great, especially for aging adults. Now, however, an impressive new treatment has entered the arena, and offers great relief from chronic pain and without the potential risks or unwanted side effects of the other options. Referred to as cooled radio frequency ablation (“Coolief”), the procedure 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 impressive reduction in soreness, swelling and stiffness also makes it possible for many patients to reduce their need for prescription medications and to return to – or get started on – a more active lifestyle, resulting in better overall health and wellbeing.
Comparable to injections of cortisone, long-lasting but temporary respite from aches and pains is typically achieved for a period of around six to twelve months. Necessitating only local anesthetic, the treatment is performed on an outpatient basis within as few as 40 minutes. Potential risks and recovery time are minimal, however it’s important to note that the process does not alter, slow down, or stop the progress of degenerative arthritis. But for many, quality of life is greatly enhanced as pain is diminished significantly.
Are you or an elderly loved one dealing with the effects of degenerative arthritis? A little support will go a considerable way towards improving well being for seniors with chronic health concerns such as osteoarthritis and various other conditions of aging, whether through assisting with housekeeping and doing the laundry, taking care of buying groceries and preparing meals, ensuring prescribed medicines are taken exactly as prescribed, or simply just providing friendly companionship to cheer up the day. Contact at Home Matters to learn more ways that we can assist!