woman touching her knee

When Your Joints Ache: Is It Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common musculoskeletal condition affecting many people worldwide; it often hits people as they age, or could happen due to obesity or injury. It occurs when a person loses cartilage in their joints, making any action painful as the bones have lost their protection against friction.

The pain can be so severe to the extent that some sufferers often prefer to sit or lie down for most of the day. Although the disease is chronic and doesn’t have a cure, there are several methods you can do to manage it and reduce pain.

Weight loss

Most people who are overweight put a lot of strain on their joints. This can significantly increase the risk of osteoarthritis. The best way to prevent it is to lose weight. For those who already have the condition, a significant loss in weight could reduce the pain. Obesity plays a vital role in the severity of the condition because of the added stress on your knee or hip joints. Additionally, as a result of obesity, the body produces specific chemicals that may worsen the swelling.

Exercise

When you have osteoarthritis, and you don’t exercise, your condition is likely to deteriorate fast. Although exercising with osteoarthritis is painful, you can nevertheless lessen the severity of the disease when you’re physically active. The exercise does need not be stressful. You can have regular simple exercises like walking, which can improve your condition.

Many physiotherapists in Singapore recommend their clients to exercise even if they find it challenging. They say that a professional can evaluate your condition and come up with a personalized exercise program suitable for you.

man going through physical therapy

Medication

Although medication does not cure osteoarthritis, it’s essential to use them as they can reduce pain. You can take the drugs before you start exercising. There are various kinds of medicines that you can use to relieve pain. These include oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs, and opioids. These drugs can also reduce inflammation.

Alternative treatment options

Specific alternative treatment approaches are available and can work well on some people. These include the use of acupuncture, bioelectric therapy, and supplements. These treatments are administered to sufferers for a length of time, and though it may not work for everyone, many respond to these treatments positively.

Some people, especially those suffering from knee and hip joint osteoarthritis, may find walking with a cane helpful in reducing pain. Equipment, such as insoles, compresses, and crutches could also help in reducing the strain in the joints.

Surgery

In case the pain is too severe, and these treatments are of no help to the patient, some physicians recommend surgery as the last treatment option. Surgery is done on the affected area to enable the realignment of bones and remove stress on the arthritic joints.

People suffering from osteoarthritis can minimize the pain that comes with the condition by adopting a variety of methods. The condition does not mean you have to suffer for life; meet with a doctor who can provide you with the guidance you need to make sure you live the best life even with osteoarthritis.

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