By Dr. (Maj) Pankaj N Surange, Pain Management
When you discover that you have Osteoarthritis, it might seem that the condition has taken over your life. Osteoarthritis is a very common type of arthritis, which causes swelling, pain, and reduced motion in the joints. It may take place in any joint but is more common in the hands, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis makes your life difficult and you have to halt several activities until you are back in control again. If you are living with osteoarthritis and want to manage the condition over time, you need to take proper care of yourself. Here are some healthy tips for living with osteoarthritis:
- Take charge of your osteoarthritis – Although you cannot control every aspect of osteoarthritis, you can make things better by taking charge actively. The first step in this is to acquire as much knowledge as possible regarding osteoarthritis. You should ask a lot of questions to your doctor or health provider, join a community, and arthritis health education and support programs and do online research. This will teach you all the major ways you need to know to keep your osteoarthritis under control.
- Use your joints – One of the best ways to maintain joint mobility is to keep them active regularly by exercising. Although this can be tough owing to the pain, exercise is a great remedy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Exercise helps you in maintaining joint flexibility and muscle strength. These reduce pain and help you in controlling your weight better. Your mental stability is also enhanced. You should not become immobile because of excess pain and start an exercise schedule.
- Control weight – Extra body weight results in placing excess load and stress to your osteoarthritis joints which are painful and inflamed. In case you are obese and overweight, losing the extra kilos is important for improving the health of your affected joints. Losing weight is a safe way of reducing pain and improving mobility. You need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet along with proper exercise. Although changing eating habits is difficult, it is beneficial for your joints.
- Protect your joints – There are several activities which make your joints painful and enhance your osteoarthritis. You can use several labour-saving appliances which are available in the market. You should gather facts on the different gadgets and devices which are designed for helping osteoarthritis patients. You can consult your doctor, therapist or physiotherapist for a device which is suitable for you.
When you experience excessive pain, you should abstain from all these activities. If you cannot, you need to pace yourself and take regular breaks and rest. It is recommended that you visit a doctor if you suffer from osteoarthritis who will be able to give you the most important tips for recovery.