Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. It occurs when cartilage in a joint wears away, leading to inflammation and pain. For those who suffer from osteoarthritis, managing the pain can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help manage your pain and minimize its effects on your daily life.
Regular exercise can help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. Exercise helps maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility, which can make it easier for those with OA to move about their day-to-day activities. It’s important to consult with your physical therapist before beginning an exercise regimen as some exercises may worsen symptoms. Low-impact activities such as swimming, biking or walking are usually safe for those with osteoarthritis. In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy weight is also important. Carrying extra weight puts added strain on joints that are already affected by OA; this can exacerbate symptoms such as pain and inflammation.
Pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve the discomfort associated with OA. NSAIDs work to reduce inflammation and swelling in joints while providing relief from pain and stiffness; however, they do not cure osteoarthritis itself. Additionally, medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) may be used for milder cases of OA when NSAIDs aren’t enough to provide relief from pain or inflammation. Other treatments such as corticosteroid injections may be prescribed for more severe cases of OA that do not respond to other forms of treatment.
In addition to medications, there are several alternative treatments available for those suffering from osteoarthritis that may provide relief from symptoms without the use of drugs or surgery. These include acupuncture, massage therapy, heat/cold therapy, biofeedback therapy and even dietary changes such as increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements or increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants like cherries or berries which have been known to reduce inflammation in joints affected by OA.
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that affects millions around the world; fortunately, there are a variety of ways to help manage its symptoms so that you can continue living an active lifestyle despite its presence in your life. From exercise and weight management techniques to alternative treatments such as acupuncture or dietary changes–there’s something out there for everyone when it comes to managing their osteoarthritis pain! Talk with your physiotherapist or doctor today about which treatment options might be right for you so you can begin taking steps towards managing your condition and reducing its impact on your everyday life!
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