Slow Return to Spring Activities?

Spring has officially returned — both on the calendar and in the weekly forecast.

And with the excitement to head back outside and in the sun to throw a baseball, swing the golf clubs, run or hike some nearby trails, or simply be active again after a dormant winter, this return to activity can be accompanied by some muscle soreness and achy joints.

Much of that discomfort can be attributed to “shaking off the rust,” but there does come a point at which the pain remains, not going away even with rest, and beginning to cause issues when attempting to perform tasks that were routine not long ago.

It is at that point that an evaluation by a health care professional should be sought as it is these instances that may be the first signs of osteoarthritis, the breaking down of the cartilage that cushions the joint.

But what specifically are those signs, then, that the pain in your knee, hip, or other joints need more than rest and ice?

Pain is persistent
Despite rest and other home treatments, such as ice or anti-inflammatories, the pain persists for more than two weeks.

Loss of mobility
Along with decreased range of motion, labored walking and difficulty rising from a sitting position are all signs that mobility is becoming limited.

Consistent swelling
Swelling, especially around a joint, is a sign of inflammation.

Issues bearing weight
Knees and hips are significant weight-bearing joints, and worsening pain is a symptom that the weight is too much of a strain on the joint.

Radiating pain
Pain that originated in one area is beginning to be felt in another part of the body, such as a dull hip pain starts sending shooting pain down the leg.

Harder to perform previously routine tasks
Quite simply, if joint or muscle pain begins to hinder one’s ability to perform tasks that we once routine, it is time to seek care from a health care professional.

Patients may wish to see their primary care provider initially, but they also have the ability to make an appointment with a McLaren Health Care orthopedic surgeon to discuss non-surgical treatment options.