Q: My right knee has begun to ache on a regular basis and has affected my ability to complete my weekly household chores. The doctor said at my age - 82 - it's not a surprise. I want to stay in my home, and I can't see loading up on pain pills. Maybe my doctor hasn't heard about new supplements that were promoted in a recent TV commercial; I'm open to all possibilities.
A: Your doctor probably chose not to recommend supplements for several reasons, one of which could be the revelation from a recent study that indicates no supplement will help.
No medical treatments have been established to influence the course of knee osteoarthritis, according to background on a study that recently was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
When specifically examining vitamin D supplements for pain relief of age-related knee osteoarthritis, the researchers said seniors should consider another option.
You should know that ruling out vitamin D supplements as a possibility wasn't a quick conclusion. The two-year clinical trial, in which the average age of the subjects was 62, found a placebo did as much good as vitamin D in relieving pain or saving cartilage. "Some studies," the authors point out, "have suggested that vitamin D may protect against structural progression."
One option to help solve the household chore dilemma could be a professional caregiver, such as one from the local Home Instead Senior Care office. A CAREGiverSM could help with light housekeeping, meal preparation and medication reminders. If transportation and errands are a challenge, a CAREGiver might step in to assist with those services as well. And, who knows, you may strike up a friendship with your CAREGiver that would help make daily activities even more enjoyable.
Be sure to rely on your doctor's advice about treatment options, and don't be afraid to ask for the help you need to remain in your home.
For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, contact Joe DeLauter at 866-522-6533 or go to www.homeinstead.com.
To read more about the study, visit jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1556148&utm-source=Silverchair+Information+Systems&utm-medium=email&utm-campaign=MASTER%3AJAMALatestIssueTOCNotification01%2F08%2F2013.