Mobility and Quality of Life

Summer is almost here as I write this editorial. After a long winter in Canada, one of the real pleasures of spring and summer is getting out of the house and walking. It is a wonderful time to see neighbours again and to see the gardens blooming. However, these simple pleasures of life are difficult to enjoy if one’s mobility is limited and, unfortunately, this is often the case as we age. Arthritis is the number one condition impairing the quality of life of community-dwelling older people, but we physicians often do not take it seriously enough. That is why Geriatrics & Aging regularly has theme issues on musculoskeletal problems: we try to remind clinicians of the importance of mobility in maintaining quality of life.

We have all had muscle cramps at one time or another, but are the cramps older adults get different? It will be easy to find out, just read the article “Muscle Cramps in Older Adults” by Dr. David Guay. Modern imaging has made the diagnosis of spinal stenosis much easier to ascertain but has raised many questions about proper management. The article “Management of Spinal Stenosis” by Drs. Maria Frazer and John Markman is an attempt to answer some of these difficult questions. The article “Intra-articular Corticosteroids in Osteoarthritis” by Dr. Sunita Paudyal and Dr. Stephen Campbell will help the primary care physician utilize this treatment modality in a rational manner.

We also have our usual potpourri of articles on various topics. Our cardiovascular column “Orthostatic Hypotension Screening in Older Adults Taking Antihypertensive Agents” is by Dr. Kenneth Madden, who is also the new associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Geriatrics. Our dementia column addresses a difficult and eternal issue in geriatric medicine, “Adherence to Medication in Patients with Dementia: Problems and Solutions,” and is written by Dr. Dan Brauner. Our caregiving column addresses the topic of “Caregiver Stress: The Physician’s Role” and is by Dr. Abisola Famakinwa. Our technology in medicine column this month is relatively low tech but very important to older adults, namely “Canes & Walkers: A Practical Guide to Prescribing” by Dr. Robert Lam and Alison Wong.

Enjoy this month’s issue,
Barry Goldlist