In the U.S., more than 27 million adults have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA). It is the most common joint disease in the world – one that is hallmarked by the joint pain that is, at times, severe. Treating your joints right can minimize the pain so that you can maintain mobility and independence in spite of your diagnosis. The tips below can help, though you should always consult with your physician.
Weight loss specifically impacts the joints known as weight bearing joints. These include ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, and the lower back – among others. Pain in these joints is the result of wear and tear on the joints themselves. The more you weigh, the more stress is placed upon them.
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, someone who is obese has a 60 percent greater likelihood of developing arthritis than someone in the normal weight range.
Among people who are obese, the exercises recommended to relieve the pain of joint disease and take off the weight that exacerbates their conditions, can be extremely painful.
In some instances, medical weight loss provides a viable option for taking off a large amount of weight quickly. This provides more immediate relief by relieving the stress on weight bearing joints and making exercise less painful. Ultimately, weight loss makes it possible for patients to actively participate in physical therapy and exercises programs designed to improve tolerances to exercise as well as mobility.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) updated recommendations for treating hand, knee, and hip osteoarthritis in 2012. One of the key focuses of the updates involves exercise. The ACR especially recommends aerobic, aquatic, and resistance exercises as early treatment options. Tai chi is another form of exercise the ACR recommends, though not as strongly as those mentioned above. You should always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise regimen.
When traditional treatments for joint pain fail, it’s time to explore a few alternative therapy options. Acupuncture, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy, and massage all offer relief from the pain of osteoarthritis without the negative side effects of pharmaceutical treatments. While these treatments provide short-term relief, they help people struggling with the pain of joint disease lead more active, fuller lives.
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it is possible to manage the condition and live a full life that’s mostly free of the pain it provides. Keeping your joints in commission should become a top priority for you.