Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body. However, it’s most common in the knees, hips, spine, and hands. The pain of osteoarthritis stems from the slow wearing of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in a joint.
The lack of cartilage results in pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion, and bone spurs, which the body produces to protect the joint.
Treatments for Osteoarthritis
While there are ways to manage osteoarthritis pain, the damage to the joints is irreversible. However, there are measures you can take to mitigate symptoms and delay the condition’s progression.
When your osteoarthritis flares up and the symptoms are especially painful, it’s best to take some time to rest. However, staying active is one of the most effective ways to manage your osteoarthritis.
Exercise can strengthen the muscles supporting your joints, help your body maintain flexibility and range of motion, and boost your energy.
Obesity is a risk factor for developing osteoarthritis. Once your cartilage begins to deteriorate, carrying extra weight worsens the condition by increasing pressure on your weight-bearing joints and causing excessive inflammation.
Losing excess weight can alleviate some of the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis and delay the condition’s progression.
Eat Healing Foods
Certain food and nutrients may ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These include:
- Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C
- Fish and fish oil
- Healthy fats, like nuts and avocados
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
In addition to curbing the body’s inflammatory response that can worsen pain, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which will also alleviate symptoms.
Thermotherapy is the application of heat or cold to joints to improve osteoarthritis symptoms. You can apply thermotherapy with simple heating pads and cold compresses at home.
Applying cold to affected joints for 20 minutes or less can numb the pain, reduce swelling, constrict blood vessels, and block nerve impulses to the joint. Applying heat can improve circulation and relax muscles.
Manage Pain Through Over-the-Counter Medications
Over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, reduce inflammation and can help manage flare-ups of osteoarthritis pain.
However, these medications should always be taken as directed. Additionally, you should always consult your physician before taking an over-the-counter medication for longer than ten days.
If your osteoarthritis becomes severe and medications and lifestyle adjustments don’t help you find relief, consult your physician for further pain management treatments.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for osteoarthritis, also known as stem cell therapy for Osteoarthritis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.