1. Choose Healthy Foods
Although diet can’t cure osteoarthritis, certain foods can help relieve pain and inflammation and boost bone and muscle strength. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C, D, and E may slow the disease progression of osteoarthritis. Also, anthocyanins – flavonoids found in red cherries – may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids, such as flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil, and oily fish such as salmon, may also be helpful for joint pain.
2. Eat Less
Losing even a few pounds can have a significant impact on your joints. Each pound you lose reduces knee pressure.
3. Exercise More
Movement is great medicine for arthritis. It eases pain by keeping joints flexible and strengthening leg muscles that act as shock absorbers for knee joints.
4. Choose Low-Impact Workouts
Try 30 minutes a day of biking, walking, swimming, or yoga. Consistency is key. Avoid the weekend warrior syndrome; this leads to injury. And stay away from high-impact, strenuous aerobics.
5. See an Orthopedic Specialist
There are several treatment options available to you that are less invasive than traditional surgery. Cartilage resurfacing, for example, is ideal for patients younger than 50 with isolated cartilage damage from a fall or injury. It is similar to repairing a pothole in the road, only your damaged cartilage is patched.
6. Learn About New Surgical Techniques
If you should reach the point of needing surgery, there are innovative techniques available to you. Take ACL surgery, for example. Dr. Brian McCarty performs what’s called Double Bundle ACL surgery, which is the anatomically correct placement of the new ACL exactly where the old one was, eliminating the need to shave the bone. This greatly reduces the chance of arthritis in the years following surgery.