Arthritis is the major cause of disability and the most prevalent disease. The significant sign of arthritis is pain and swelling in a single joint or multiple joints in the body and is most common type of arthritis. The symptoms common in all bone diseases like arthritis and osteoarthritis is an incurable condition that causes the disintegration of the bone cartilage this is a tough, flexible tissue that is attached to the two ends of the bones where they meet to form a joint. When the bone disintegrates the cartilage makes the bones rub against each other causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in that joint. Even though there is no cure for osteoarthritis there are ways and means to manage the pain and other symptoms in the body with a few helpful tips which can make a lot of difference in the overall lifestyle, health and fitness of the patient.
Exercises could be recommended by your doctor since exercising painful joints can be very difficult. There are many fitness routines suitable for arthritis patients and these exercises would focus on three things, Range of Motion Exercises which are done daily, Strengthening Exercises performed on alternate days, Endurance Exercises are done for 20 – 30 minutes three times a week. Exercises are most important to help a patient to cope with the disease since it increases the body’s self rejuvenating abilities. Regular exercises will help in improving your mood, blood circulation, healing and energy in the joints and full body and also in maintaining a healthy body weight. Isometric moves and wall slides, Walking, Swimming, Bicyling, Physical Therapy, Rowing, Pilates, Yoga, Tai-chi, water exercises and acupuncture are some of the different types of exercises which help in osteoarthritis. Always do warm ups before and after any exercise workout, never jump right into any exercise program as could seriously injure the joints and muscles. Exercise can strengthen certain leg muscles that help with the painful joints but you should never force yourself unreasonably. If there is pain while performing any exercise or activity you should stop doing them as you could cause serious damage. Physiotherapists can teach you how to safely stretch and strengthen vulnerable joints and set a structured program to gradually setup a routine for exercise. Occupational Therapy helps you to do everyday tasks without putting extra stress on the painful joints. In severe osteoarthritis physical therapy may be needed first before any exercise regimen is started.
Diet also plays a big role in the management of osteoarthritis as it helps to maintain the body weight. Obesity is one of the main factors for the advancement of osteoarthritis. The more stress placed on the already damaged joints the greater the inflammation. Over time this can worsen the joint further, increasing the pain and interfering with a person’s movement. By losing just a few kilos of your body weight, you will notice the relief and difference in all your symptoms. Weight loss would require changes in the diet that reduce saturated fats, low intake of carbohydrates and avoiding extra salt, sugar and alcohol. There are a lot of healthy diet options which your nutritionist can help you with according to the condition of your joints and body weight. Certain nutrients are known to help in the condition of osteoarthritis like Omega-3 fatty acids which are rich in healthy fats that help in reducing joint swelling. Good sources for Omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil, nuts and certain plant oil. Vitamin D supplements are also known to help people with osteoarthritis. Vitamin D is also produced naturally in our body when the body is exposed to sunlight, some good sources for vitamin D is fish, milk, cereal and eggs. GLME is green lipped muscle extract which helps by stopping and stalling the disease from advancing. Avoid eating anti-inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy products, tomatoes, spicy food, pepper, sugar, potatoes, eating more protein rich foods in your diet. There are herbal anti-inflammatory supplements like ginger and turmeric which can help to relieve some of the symptoms.
Using supportive devices for walking helps in removing strain and pressure from the damaged joints. Due to the pain patients tend to walk less as they feel unstable on their feet and are afraid to put their whole body weight on the painful joint. Avoiding a supportive device could worsen your condition. These walking devices are not just resticted to canes, crutches and walkers. The device options are many like an unloader brace for knee arthritis which relieves pressure on the most damaged side of a joint, rolling walkers (rollators) that allow you to move freely unlike a standard walker.
You need to have the medicines as directed by your doctor for relief from persistant joint pain. If you have not consulted with any doctor as yet then you need to do that immediately. There are many options in medications like prescription and non-prescription medicines. Analgesic are used as pain relievers, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce inflammation and pain, Corticosteroids are very strong anti-inflammatory drugs taken orally or injected directly into the affected joint, Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in our body and can be injected into a joint as a shock absorber and a lubricant and Anti-depressants are also used in the treatment of patients with severe osteoarthritis.