Orthopaedic doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. In most cases, people seek their help only when the pain becomes intolerable. This is not advisable because an early diagnosis and treatment can save you a lot of suffering and stress, as well as shorten your recovery period.
Here are several benefits of seeing an orthopaedic doctor at an early stage.
Getting the diagnosis
Chronic pain is a complex but common condition that affects 1 in every 5 Australians over the age of 45, and if left unmanaged, it can lead to many additional health problems including addiction. Muscle and joint pain may be the result of an injury or a number of other diseases, but an early visit to an orthopaedic doctor can help you get a proper diagnosis and start treatment in time.
There are different kinds of inflammatory arthritis that affect joints causing pain and permanent deformities, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. On the other hand, muscle pain can be caused by an injury or some systematic illness. Whatever the reason may be, leaving it undiagnosed and untreated will only lead to prolonged pain and further complications.
Restoring normal joint function
After an injury or due to an illness such as arthritis, you may have a limited range of motion and experience some stiffness in the affected joints. This is frustrating as it impacts your daily life so seeing an orthopaedic doctor will help get to the root of the problem and find a suitable treatment to improve your functionality.
Joint pain can also lead to a lack of activity which may lead to further complications such as chronic illnesses that include diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. The common misconception is that this naturally comes with ageing and it’s something you have to live with. It’s not necessarily so, as experienced orthopaedic specialists can do a lot to help you manage your pain and improve the quality of your life. The treatment may be as simple as making small lifestyle changes, using pain medications or doing physical therapy.
Enhancing exercise performance
Many orthopaedic doctors have training in sports medicine as well so they have the necessary knowledge and skills to make the diagnosis and treat all kinds of injuries both for average people and athletes. The latter group is particularly susceptible to different conditions and injuries and their treatment and recovery usually need to be completed faster and, preferably, without affecting their athletic performance.
Over the past years, numerous studies have searched for the correlation between exercise and the onset of osteoarthritis, and their general findings are that not only there’s no correlation, but there’s actually an inverse correlation. This means that doing more exercise leads to reduced joint pains and osteoarthritis.
Therefore, sports medicine aims at helping professional and amateur athletes, weekend warriors included, to perform at the highest level possible. If you’re looking to enhance your athletic performance, a consultation with an orthopaedic doctor that specializes in sports medicine is possibly your best choice as they will come up with a customized plan that improves your performance but minimizes the negative impact of strenuous physical activity on the body.
There are some physical activities that can cause joint problems later such as soccer, rugby or skiing, as they stress particular joints, but exercise, in general, can benefit your joints by helping you maintain your weight and keep your ligaments and muscles in great shape!
Topping the list of reasons why people most commonly seek orthopaedic help is to manage their pain. Whether it’s the result of a condition or injury, an orthopaedic doctor will form a diagnosis and recommend the most suitable and effective course of treatment.
Among the most widespread reasons for chronic pain is osteoarthritis (a wear-and-tear condition) and in such cases, the orthopaedic doctor will offer pain management options that aim at reducing the inflammation which is extremely harmful to your joint health. Pain management therapies can include viscosupplementation, bracing, injection and/or various forms of physical therapy.
Getting surgical treatment
Orthopaedic surgeons offer a wide range of comprehensive services and they commonly resort to surgery if conservative methods aren’t giving the desired results. Orthopaedic surgeons are specialists in repairing musculoskeletal issues on an advanced level and often in an outpatient setting so you can recover at your home on the same day of your surgery and return to normal function in a very short time.
If you’re experiencing any kind of muscle or joint pain, don’t ignore it or wait until it fades away on its own. Also, it’s not something you should resign to living with. An early diagnosis and timely treatment of your condition are crucial in preventing any further development of illness or joint degradation. Various treatments can offer immediate symptoms and pain relief, so it’s best you see your orthopaedic doctor as early as possible.
Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and health issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoys nature.