According to the CDC, over 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis. This condition can slow down and limit movement, which understandably frustrates and depresses sufferers who would rather remain active and on-the-go. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, we encourage you to read these top ten tips for reducing arthritis pain. By adopting a few lifestyle changes and by staying informed about this condition, you can take the proactive steps necessary to live a more active lifestyle with osteoarthritis.
1. Find out your risk factors. If you have had past knee injuries, your risk of arthritis in that knee rises by 57%. Find out how your health history may affect your chances of osteoarthritis. If your risks are higher, talk to your physician about what you can do to slow the onset and take care of your joints now.
2. Keep moving. Staying active is the most important thing you can do to ease joint pain. Considering how much joints can ache, moving more feel like the last thing you want to do. However, low-impact exercise will increase flexibility, lessen pain and stiffness and improve joint strength and potential mobility. We challenge you to try it and see what happens!
3. Stretch it out. Make time every day to stretch your muscles. It will be particularly helpful after you have been still for a while, such as first thing in the morning or after a long day sitting at work.
4. Keep off the weight. Did you know that being even 10 pounds over weight will increase the stress on your joints by 30 – 60 pounds with every step you take? By eating a healthy diet and staying active, you can maintain a normal weight without putting any excessive stress on your joints.
5. Consider diet changes. Speaking of maintaining a healthy diet, talk to your physician about foods that might help your condition. Some painkillers may cause constipation, so be sure to stay hydrated and eat a high-fiber diet. Also, some antioxidants have been known to reduce pain, and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) can help reduce inflammation.
6. Get help. As motivated as you might be to get ahead of your arthritis, it is important to be realistic about your physical limitations and ask for help. Either call on family members more often or find and use special tools around the house that will reduce the pain of some everyday tasks.
7. Anticipate obstacles. Think ahead and consider what parts of your day may be more or less difficult with joint pain. The weather, illness and extra work obligations can all affect your joint pain. Make sure to plan rest periods and try not to over schedule yourself.
8. Take your medication. Be sure to follow your physician's medication instructions carefully. Find out what foods or medications affect what you're taking and make sure to take your prescribed medications on time every day.
9. Stay informed. Be sure to do your research and learn as much as you can about osteoarthritis. You may be surprised to find out how much pain you can prevent just by understanding how this condition affects your joints and by following up on tips from medical experts.
10. See your doctor regularly. As much responsibility as you take for your condition, you will need help managing it correctly. Stay in contact with your physician and keep regular appointments. If anything seems to change, worsen or improve about your condition, share that information so that treatment can be adjusted accordingly.
The orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists at The Medical Center of Plano are experts in their field. They offer effective treatment options for joint pain and other orthopedic conditions. Find out more about therapy, surgical options and our Joint Camp online here. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-665-TMCP.