As many as 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most common kind of arthritis. It is a major reason for work disability and declining quality of life. Nonetheless, controlling osteoarthritis doesn’t mean just swallowing pills to reduce the aches. There are several alternative strategies to osteoarthritis management to help control pain.
After being appropriately diagnosed, there are numerous ways to deal with the pain of osteoarthritis. Some ways are more conventional than others, but because not every person reacts to various treatments in the same way, it is a good idea for each person to try several strategies (with the recommendation of a physician) to find out what works best.
One of the biggest ways to deal with the discomfort of arthritis is weight control. For every single pound of weight lost, there is a four-pound reduction in the load placed on the knee for every step taken during the course of day-to-day activities; and losing as little as eleven pounds can cut the chance of developing knee osteoarthritis by a full 50 percent for some individuals.
Routine physical exercise helps keep joints active, reduces pain and makes muscles around the joints stronger. Swimming is specifically appropriate for people with osteoarthritis since the water’s buoyancy provides for exercise with minimal impact stress to the joints while developing strength and increasing range of motion.
Warm and Cold Therapy
Warm and cold therapy can also provide helpful pain management methods. Heat therapy, such as a warm bath, heating pad or hot pack can loosen up rigid and aching muscles. Cold therapy, like cold compresses and frozen gel packs, helps by numbing nerve endings in affected areas. Understand, however, that those who have Reynaud’s phenomenon should not use cold therapies.
While you are treating the body for osteoarthritis pain, do not forget about the power of your mind. The mind has an impact on how you feel pain and respond to health issues. Dealing with anxiety through relaxation methods can promote a sense of control and wellness that makes it simpler and easier to handle pain and may also minimize anxiety, depression and sleeping issues.
A doctor might prescribe occupational therapy for someone with osteoarthritis. Occupational therapists can help with body mechanics (discovering how to move the body in ways that do not elevate pain), joint protection methods and modifications to daily activities to preserve energy.
Advanced Home Health Care can help individuals with osteoarthritis to remain independent and in control of life. Advanced Home Health Care understands the needs of the arthritic patient and provides a wide array of in-home care services based on each person’s needs. For rehabilitation services in Mount Pleasant, IA and the surrounding area, contact Advanced Home Health Care online or call 800.791.7785 for further information on our home care services and to get a partner in care who can provide support when a helping hand is needed.