Does joint pain and limited movement keep you from carrying out daily activities and tasks? If so, you may be suffering from osteoarthritis. It’s the most common form of arthritis that causes a breakdown of joint cartilage, and it affects mostly middle-aged and older adults.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the good news is that you can help keep your joints functioning and your quality of life with simple changes in your daily activities. To help reduce pain, move better and protect your joints from further injury, doctors with Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital may recommend the following lifestyle changes and treatments.
Weight loss is not easy, but even losing just a small amount can help ease the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees and ankles. Diet changes and exercise may be recommended by your orthopedic physician or registered dietician.
A key part of arthritis care, exercise strengthens your muscles, lessens joint pain and stiffness, and improves your overall health. Types of recommended exercise may include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Aerobic activities
- Range of motion or stretching activities
- Balance exercises
To ease pain and protect your joints from further damage, make sure to balance rest with activity as well as know when to stop. Sleep is also an important part of joint protection.
Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications can help reduce pain and stiffness, but it’s important to talk with your doctor before taking anything for osteoarthritis.
If you don’t want to take medications to help control osteoarthritis, you can also try relaxation techniques (e.g. meditation or yoga), cold and warm compresses, or massage.
If non-surgical treatment options don’t help your osteoarthritis, arthroscopic or joint replacement surgery may be your next best options. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons will use the latest technology and treatments as well as a comprehensive approach to help get you back to doing the activities you enjoy.