As many as 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most common type of arthritis. It is a major cause of work disability and lowered quality of life. Nonetheless, controlling the pain of osteoarthritis doesn’t mean merely popping pills to reduce the aches. There are a variety of alternative approaches to control osteoarthritis pain.
Once correctly diagnosed, there are multiple methods to manage the pain of osteoarthritis. Several ways are more customary than others, but since not everybody responds to various therapies equally, it is a good idea for every individual to try a few strategies (under the supervision of a health care provider) to find out what works best.
One of the primary ways to help with the aches of arthritis is controlling weight. For every one pound of weight lost, there is a four pound reduction in the weight exerted on the knee for each step taken in the course of everyday activities; and losing only 11 pounds can lower the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis by 50% for some people.
Regular physical exercise helps keep joints active, diminishes pain and strengthens muscles surrounding the joints. Swimming is in particular suitable for individuals with osteoarthritis since the water’s buoyancy enables exercise with reduced impact stress to the joints while building strength and boosting range of motion.
Cold and Warm Therapy
Warm and cold therapy can also be helpful pain management techniques. Heat therapy, including a warm bath, heating pad or hot pack can relax stiff and uncomfortable muscles. Cold therapy, such as cold compresses and frozen gel packs, helps by desensitizing nerve endings in affected areas. Be aware, however, that people who have Reynaud’s phenomenon should not utilize cold therapies.
While treating the body for osteoarthritis pain, don’t neglect the power of your mind. The mind has an impact on how you sense pain and respond to health issues. Dealing with stress through relaxation methods can give a sense of control and wellness that makes it less difficult to handle pain and may also minimize anxiety, depression and sleeping issues.
A medical professional might recommend occupational therapy for a person with osteoarthritis. Occupational therapists can aid with body mechanics (discovering how to move the body in ways that do not escalate pain), joint protection practices and modifying daily activities to preserve energy.
Regency Home Care can help those with arthritis to remain independent and in control of life. We understand the needs of arthritis patients and provide a wide array of in-home care solutions based on each individual’s needs. Contact Regency Home Care in Atlanta at 678.999.2446 for more information regarding home care in Atlanta, GA and to get a partner in care who can provide support when a helping hand is needed.