Living with Osteoarthritis
How to Manage
Osteoarthritis is painful and can cause inconvenience in simple daily tasks.
What then can we do to elevate these painful symptoms? Self-help measures can
help to reduce the stress on your joints and reduce the severity of your condition.
Some of the main ones are listed below.
- Lose weight if you are obese or overweight. According to the Arthritis Foundation of America, for every pound you gain, you add 4 pounds of pressure on your knees and 6 times the pressure on your hips. Therefore, weight loss will put less stress on the joint and relieve your pain.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps your joints to work well and to keep it strong and flexible. Try choosing low-impact aerobic exercises and flexibility exercises such as gentle yoga, tai-chi and swimming that help to relieve stiffness and build endurance. Exercise helps to nourish your cartilage too.
- Caring for your joints. Use heat packs on sore joints to increase the blood flow and relax stiffness or use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Avoid doing repetitive activities or spending a long time in the same position like squatting while gardening. Using a walking stick or a wheel walker reduces the stress off your joints.
- Consult your family doctor. Talking to your family doctor will help to diagnose your joint pain and discuss on ways to manage your condition. Choosing the right treatment with your doctor helps you to take control of your osteoarthritis.
- Take medicine - painkillers wisely. Painkillers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work best in managing the pain but it will not treat osteoarthritis. Long term consumption of pain killers will lead to some possible unwanted side-effects like gastrointestinal ulcers etc.
- Supplement with joint health nutrients. Take joint health supplements regularly to treat osteoarthritis or delay the onset of the condition. Glucosamine plus chondroitin supplements are commonly recommended by orthopaedics and doctors for their patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis and joint pains.