The frequent bouts of osteoarthritis joint pain can ruin the quality of life, and unfortunately, there is no cure yet for the condition yet. About 300 million people are affected by it, and according to the GBD, the number continues to rise.
But don’t fret just yet! There are some ways to relieve the pain and stop it from worsening over time, such as the following…
1. Take Medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and duloxetine (Cymbalta) have been effective for people who have mild to moderate flare-ups of osteoarthritis pain.
If you’re not into taking medications, there are plenty of other options to treat osteoarthritis symptoms. It may seem troublesome, but this next method can help speed recovery…
2. Use Assistive Devices
For knee osteoarthritis, using crutches and canes can prevent joints from further wasting away. These devices help bear the weight on joints and lessen pressure on the knees.
The next option will encourage you to move your body…
While moving about can hurt for people with osteoarthritis, physical activities such as exercising, walking, or light jogging, can help relieve the affected joints by strengthening the muscles and moistening the cartilages. To minimize the risk of pain, try low-impact exercises like walking.
Exercising, coupled with the following suggestions, have done wonders for OA patients…
4. Seek Physical Therapy
A popular treatment for osteoarthritis is physical therapy, which significantly aids in relieving severe OA symptoms. Physical therapists usually recommend exercise plans for knee and hip osteoarthritis in order to strengthen the hip muscles and restore knee function.
Physical therapy, though, is only part of the healing equation. It’s also always a good idea to monitor the following…
5. Drop Some Pounds
Most cases of osteoarthritis are induced by excess weight in obese patients. Excess weight takes a toll on knee joints. Therefore, losing some pounds can help relieve or even evade the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Weight loss is never easy, but you can start your weight-loss journey in the following ways…
6. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a good, healthy diet not only helps you get rid of those excess pounds, but it also ultimately helps reduce the effects of osteoarthritis in the joints. For example, eating oily fish like salmon and sardines, as well as dairy, garlic, and dark leafy greens work wonders in fighting off infection and inflammation.
You can never go wrong with reducing your nicotine intake…
7. Quit Smoking
If you smoke and haven’t quit yet, quit now. Because smoking causes devastating effects on the cartilages, it is truly best to gradually quit it for the recovery of your joints. Plus, quitting smoking can help your overall health.
But, it’s not just your lungs that need a break…
8. Get Enough Rest
The daily grind can be rough sometimes, but it really can take a toll on your joints if you don’t take a good breather after strenuous work. This means taking a break when you start to feel tired or strained. Even more, getting enough rest, both during the day and at night, helps the body recover from OA’s flare-ups.
Additionally, having a coherent recovery plan makes things much simpler and may involve the following…
9. Learn Self-Management Skills
Practicing self-management is a must for every arthritis patient seeking relief from osteoarthritis. This means incorporating healthy habits into your life to tackle and prevent the pain that can come with osteoarthritis.
It’s likewise important to talk with your doctor on how to handle the condition’s symptoms.
And when all else fails, this last option might have to occur…
When all the other treatment options have not shown positive results, surgery is typically the last resort. Orthopedic surgeons will usually recommend the following procedures:
- Joint replacement – as the name implies, the joints in the hips and knees will be replaced by artificial joints made of metal or special types of plastic.
- Osteotomy – a small piece of bone will be removed in order to realign the knee.
- Arthrodesis – this procedure involves the permanent fusing of the joints, though it will disable further movement.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options, and they can help you decide what surgery, if any, is best for you.