Torres first started noticing pain in her right shoulder that ultimately became the first sign of her disease process. She was then faced with a potentially career-ending deterioration in her left knee.
Arthroscopic surgery on her shoulder shaved down the ends and removed the excess calcification that was caused by the arthritis.
The arthritis in her knee was caused by over-use that led to cartilage degeneration. To repair that, Torres underwent a more radical procedure to reconstruct the joint, using biotechnological advances to grow new cartilage.
The arthritis pain in her knee had increased to the point that she had difficulty walking around the house, or playing with her daughter.
Dara Torres is proof that age and arthritis are not obstacles to athleticism. Following are some questions put to Torres during an interview with Lifescript correspondent Anne Leonard:
How are you doing now?
I’m not limping anymore! I feel good.
Does your age make it harder to stay in shape?
I just turned 45, and I’m in the best shape of my life – fitter than I was in my 20s and definitely more flexible.
On the other hand, I need to listen to my body as I get older. It takes me longer to recover between workouts.
What should women know about growing older?
Age shouldn’t be the defining factor in your life. But with it comes wisdom and experience. I’m a much better person, athlete and mother today than I would have been at 30. It’s possible to achieve your dreams at any age if you really believe in yourself and have perseverance.
If you suspect you have degenerative arthritis, consult your personal physician. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the joint
- Most commonly affected joints are those of the knee, hip, hand or spine
- Pain usually increased when the joint is used or stressed
- Pain is usually decreased by resting the joint
Although Dara Torres’ arthritis was mainly in her shoulder and knee, many people experience painful arthritis in their hands and finger joints. If you are one of these people, you probably find doing activities of daily living a chore.
However, the simple task of writing does not need to be a problem. Using an ergonomic pen can give you back your ability to write. The UGLee Pen was scientifically designed to help prevent stress on the hand and finger joints, allowing a comfortable and relaxing writing experience.