A provocative article in last week’s New York Times discusses the quiet epidemic of older people living with serious pain who fail to report it to their doctors. Whether it’s due to stoicism, resignation, or something else, the net effect can be devastating:
[S]tudies have found that elderly patients are less likely than younger adults to report pain to their doctors. Instead, many suffer in silence at considerable cost to the quality of their lives. . . .
Untreated or inadequately treated pain is disabling and can hasten the death of an older adult by interfering with the ability to exercise, eat properly or maintain social contacts. Persistent pain can lead to immobility, depression, sleep problems, loss of appetite and isolation, all of which may increase the need for expensive medical care.
The article addresses cases of shoulder pain, hip pain and knee pain. Each could have been addressed earlier with proper orthopedic care, especially in cases where arthritic pain has led to a vicious cycle of immobility and declining health.
Agonizing pain is not a natural byproduct of aging, and no one should accept its arrival as a sort of grim “new normal.” If you have chronic knee, shoulder, elbow or hip pain and desire expert orthopedic care in San Diego, please contact my offices.