I have knee arthritis on the left side. I can do everything my friends can do, it just takes me longer. Should I be concerned?

It's natural to wonder and worry when we start to see signs of change with aging or disease. Keeping active is the key to maintaining physical function. Taking longer to complete a task may be a sign of early decline in strength, balance, and motion. These three things are very important to our independence.

There are some tests of overall function. These measure several types of activities from dressing and bathing to more active forms of exercise. The presence of pain, general health, and mental attitude are also part of the picture.

If you are noticing some changes and have some concerns, see your doctor for a check-up. Early detection and prevention of problems is essential in keeping our good health for as long as possible.