At any given time, tens of millions of Americans are walking around suffering with pain or mobility difficulties. Every day millions slowly lose their ability to complete simple daily tasks, avoid outings with friends/family and “just live with it”. This is not to mention a large majority walk around without any idea how to feel better.
Many may resort to taking medications, hoping to keep the pain at bay. Some even rely upon potentially harmful medications such as opioids, gabapentin or muscle relaxers. Others have made an effort to see a doctor but were told it is “just old age” or “you just have to live with it”…Unfortunately this is all too common, AND could not be further from the truth. Age is not a reason and you do NOT have to just live with it. Even if you have tried other things in the past that did not work, it does not mean there is not a provider out there who can help you.
What you should know is that our bodies are highly resilient. If we take care of our bodies when we recognize signs it is not working optimally, it will then take care of you. You take your car to the auto shop when the check engine light comes on…right? So why not get yourself examined when your body’s warning signs appear?
When you start to have issues walking up steps or rising from a chair due to hip pain, knee pain, or stiffness, that is the time to seek help. When you start to have troubles bending down to pick up a grocery bag, child or grandchild, that is when to get help for your back. All those sleepless nights because of neck or shoulder pain just lying awake, that is when to get help. The wait-and-see approach means “I am ok with living in pain or struggling with daily life longer.”
Waiting more than 4-6 weeks to get help for any issue means it will take that much longer to address. Do not expect immediate results if you have lived with some issue for more than 3 months. Issues such as doctor diagnosed knee arthritis should be addressed day 1 that you are told you have “arthritis,” not 10 years later as a last ditch effort to avoid knee replacement surgery. At that point, what do you really expect? If you seek help for pain or stiffness EARLY, you have a much better chance of winning without pills, needles, or knives.
Better yet, even before those warning bells go off in your body, be proactive with your health. Exercise! Get a program designed for you so that you lessen your chance of dealing with issues later in life. There are plenty of active individuals in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s now – don’t you want to be one of them?
The good news is, in the state of Pennsylvania, you do not have to wait to feel better for those muscle or joint aches and pains. You can have early access to someone like a physical therapist (the muscle and joint experts) who can learn about your troubles and what you want to accomplish (or avoid from happening) and develop a plan to help you meet those goals. And if physical therapy is not the best method for your body, they will get you to the best provider to help you.
You have the choice – why wait to feel better?