Seven Rivers hospital exterior

Bayfront Health Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River.

The odds of acquiring significant knee or hip pain sometime in our lives is high, and as we age it only gets higher.

To educate people, especially senior citizens, as to the causes of hip and knee pain and their treatment options, Bayfront Health Seven Rivers hospital is hosting a free joint pain seminar Thursday, Aug. 1, where hospital staff will discuss the health problem and available relief. The seminar will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the county’s YMCA, 4127 W. County Road 486, Lecanto.

“It’s really important to educate the community about joint pain and what our options are,” said Olan Deguzman, the hospital’s director of outpatient therapy.

The concern is that people with chronic knee or hip pain may rely too much on their primary care doctors, and instead need to see doctors who specialize in treating damaged joints, he said.

“We shouldn’t stop educating patients. It’s always good to be proactive with your health and to be knowledgeable about what your health care options are,” Deguzman said.

Knee pain is a common cause of chronic joint pain, according to WebMD.

Between 15% and 20% of men of all ages are afflicted with knee pain, according to the clinic’s website. For women, it is 20%, according to Classic Rehabilitation, a Texas-based rehabilitation facility.

As we age, it gets only worse.

About 25 percent of women over the age of 70 report having knee pain, according to study published 2011 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

It gets worse for men. Nearly half of men over 70 suffer from chronic knee pain, according to a 2013 study published in in Age and Ageing.

Similar trends are seen with hip pain.

About 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 60 suffer from hip pain, according to a 2010 study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

That’s an increase from only about 5% of men between the age of 45-54 and nearly 10 percent of women in the same age group, according to a 2005 study published in Rheumatology. 

But Deguzman warns that people with chronic knee or hip pain need to understand that there are many possible causes for their problems.

Joint pain can be due to synovitis, which means the inflammation of the synovial membrane around joints and is painful when the joint is moved.

Tendinitis may also be the culprit. That is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon that attaches bone to muscle.

It could be caused by bursitis, a painful condition that affects small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when these sacks become inflamed.

Or by osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down.

When to see a doctor for knee pain?

The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor when:

  • You can't bear weight on your knee or feel as if your knee is unstable
  • You have knee swelling
  • You are unable to fully extend or flex your knee
  • You see a deformity in your leg or knee
  • You have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
  • You have severe knee pain that is associated with an injury

Symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include hip pain associated with:

  • Fever
  • An inability to bear weight on the hip or walk
  • Leg or foot weakness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Warmth over the hip

Deguzman said speakers at the seminar include himself, Pam Stiles, a registered nurse, and a representative from the hospital’s bone and joint center.

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Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.

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