Osteoarthritis is a disorder that leads to functional and structural failure of one or more joints. World over about twenty five million people are affected with osteoarthritis and it is one of the most common causes of chronic joint pain.
Osteoarthritis engrosses the entire joint along with underlying joints, joint cover (capsule), nearby muscles and joint linings.
Effective Ways to Treat Osteoarthritis
If you are taking a treatment, it would be more effective, if you actively keep a track and be aware of all the various aspects of the treatment. It is important to monitor, how your body is responding towards the treatment. For example: You should keep a record of changing levels of pain, how long does the pain lasts, which body part is mostly affected and at what time in a day does the pain occurs.
Keeping a track will help the health care professional to monitor and examine your health condition. The health care professional will use this information to make amendments in your treatment programme. There are several cases, where doctors change the entire treatments programme with the help of the track information, if the disorder progresses.
It is very difficult to keep a record of all the changes occurring in the body. The best advice would be to keep a journal. Whenever, you feel any changes, note it down immediately. Prepare a questionnaire for your doctor and do not forget to carry all the medical documents, while visiting your health care professional.
People who are overweight are at the maximum risk of developing osteoarthritis because being overweight, cause excess pressure on your joints. If you are suffering from osteoarthritis along with overweight, your condition may become more worst as the cartilage in your joints wears down which damages the joints.
By losing weight, the strain and pressure on your joints can be decreased. This can reduce the wear and tear of the joints that can damage the tissues inside the joints. The stiffness and pain in the affected areas like hips, feet, back and joints can be easily reduced by weight loss.
Diet control and regular exercise are the best way to control weight. It is not scientifically proven that any food will help preventing osteoarthritis. Basically, you need to maintain a healthy diet that contains all the dietary nutrients to maintain the health living. Diet that includes fiber, fruits, vegetables, legumes, wheat grains etc. should be included along with the regular exercise. If, you are still not losing weight, then a weight loss programme needs to be recommended by your doctor.
For relieving the pain and stiffness that is caused by the osteoarthritis, you need to follow a regular exercise pattern. Too much exercise can cause strain on your joints. You need to follow a normal healthy exercise pattern that your body and joints can bear. It not only helps in maintain the healthy body weight but also help in reducing the strain from your joints.
Some good reasons to exercise during osteoarthritis are: It helps in strengthening the muscles and joints that in turn reduces the pain and damages. Exercise help in providing the flexibility to the joints, that later can me moved without any pain. It also enhances your mood by reducing the mental stress that may occur frequently because of the pain. Exercise improves the quality of the life by proving spark energy.
Generally, doctors create an exercising programme that can fit your physical abilities and life style. The combination of stretching exercises, low impact aerobics, mild strengthening exercise, walking, swimming and bicycling are recommended.
Heat and Cold
Hot and cold therapy is a useful technique that can cure stiffness, swelling and pain, which are the end results of osteoarthritis. Lots of trial and errors are required to choose the right therapy for you. Some may get relief from hot therapy and some prefer cold.
None of the therapy should be applied for more than 20 minutes. You need to allow your skin to return to the normal temperature between the applications of either of the therapy. The use of any cream and rubbing should be completely avoided while treating osteoarthritis through hot and cold therapy. You may burn yourself with this combination.
Heat therapy is usually done to reduce pain in the sore joints. The joint area gets numb by applying heating packs or heating pads. Sitting in the hot tub or pool is also helpful. You can also take hot water shower in the morning in order to get relieve in your stiffed joints.
Cold therapy is also helpful in relieving the pain from sore joints by numbing the area. Reusable ice packs and ice are used in cold therapy. Never ever apply the cold ice directly on your skin because it may burn the area. Always wrap the ice in a towel or put it inside the ice packs.
Medication for osteoarthritis is prescribed by the doctors, if all the above explained treatments fail. These medicines are generally helps in reducing the tenderness and pain in the joints. There is not a single drug available in the market that can cure or stop the progression of disease (osteoarthritis).
The medicines that are available over the counter i.e. without prescription are helpful in the relieving pain, only. The drugs that are prescribed by the doctors do not give 100% guarantees to treat osteoarthritis. All the medicines, whether prescribed by the doctor or taken over the counter, has certain side effects on the other parts of the body. It is very important to inform your doctor if you notice any side effect from the medicines. Example of some osteoarthritis drugs are: Analgesics, Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Capsaicin.
There is a phrase explained “Health is Wealth”. You need to completely believe in that. By taking all the measured precautions and treatments you can easily help yourself in controlling the adverse affects of osteoarthritis. Immediately inform your doctor, if you feel slight pain in your joints. Ignoring the early symptoms can cause devastating effect on your health.