How to deal with Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
OA is most common in middle-aged and older people, and its symptoms can range from very mild to very severe. The disorder most often affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back, but can affect almost any joint in the body.
While little can be done to reverse the spread of osteoarthritis, there are many options for managing the joint pain that this chronic condition can cause. By taking measures to prevent farther injury and properly caring for yourself, you can keep your arthritis from controlling your life.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Bony enlargements in the middle and end joints of the fingers. These enlargements may or may not be painful.
- Joint aching and soreness, especially with movement
- Pain after overuse or after long periods of inactivity
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis
Exercise: Physical activity can improve joint movement and strengthen the muscles that surround the joints. Physical activity should include a combination of strength-based exercises and cardio to increase general fitness levels. Maintaining a healthy weight is also essential for effective osteoarthritis treatment, as excess pounds put tremendous pressure on joints and can aggravate them farther.
Prescription anti-inflammatory pain relievers: Flexiqule can help reduce pain and swelling in the joints.
Hot or cold compresses: These treatments may be given in the form of a hot shower or bath, or by applying heating pads or cold compresses.
Oftentimes, combining therapeutic treatments with medication makes a major difference for relieving the pain of osteoarthritis. Treatments such as hot or cold packs applied directly to the painful joint can help inflammation and reduce pain. Manual therapy, or the stretching of your joints by a physician, can also reduce stiffness and improve your overall range of motion. In the same way, assistive devices like special shoe inserts, knee braces and even walkers can make it easier to move around pain free with osteoarthritis.
Living in pain is not mandatory. No matter what stage your osteoarthritis is in, there are always treatment methods available, so take the time to try different treatment strategies until you find what works for you.