Your Joints and Osteoarthritis
If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you have plenty of company. Roughly 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, making it the most common form of arthritis. It’s a painful condition for most people that suffer from it.
Osteoarthritis results when the natural cushioning inside your joints, known as cartilage, breaks down. It’s known as the wear-and-tear form of arthritis, meaning the joints become damaged simply from living life. Osteoarthritis can occur on practically any joint, though it is most commonly found in the hands, lower back, neck, hips, and knees.
You can increase your odds of keeping your osteoarthritis symptoms at bay and joints pain free by increasing your physical activity, taking prescribed medications, and losing excess weight.
Moving Beyond Joint Pain
Treatment for joint pain and osteoarthritis begins with educating yourself about the disease. Lifestyle changes, such as physical activity and weight loss if overweight, are often the first go-to steps to reducing and managing your pain. Your doctor may prescribe medications for pain, and suggest using orthotics, knee braces, applying ice to affected joints, taking over-the-counter medicines, and applying topical patches and analgesics to relieve joint pain flare ups.
All-in-all, the best method for controlling joint and osteoarthritis pain for many people is a combination of lifestyle changes and medications.
Enjoy the Benefit of Weight Loss and Physical Activity
Contrary to what you may think, keeping your joints immobile is one of the worst things you can do for your osteoarthritis and joint pain. Physical activity is especially important for individuals with osteoarthritis because muscle and core strengthening takes the strain off the joint.
Not only that, but physical activity can help with weight loss. Since just one pound of excess weight can place an extra four pounds of pressure on the knees, an individual who is 20 pounds overweight has essentially 80 pounds of extra pressure applied to the knees.
Keeping Your Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis in Check
Living with osteoarthritis can frustrate and even prohibit you from doing all the things you love to do. The good news is that it doesn’t have to. No matter how moderate or severe your osteoarthritis is or how bad your joint pain bothers you, there are many things you can do — with the help of friends, family, and medical professionals — to live better and well.
Since excess weight on your joints stress the joints and wears them down, losing just a small amount of weight can improve your joint pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis. That’s where we come in. A medical weight doctor can guide you to reduce those extra pounds that can cause your ligaments and bone-cushioning to become strained. Call us today to get started on moving beyond joint pain.