As we age, the joints in our bodies naturally begin to deteriorate, in most cases leading to pain and swelling in the hips and knees. When these symptoms become severe, as they do in nearly half of Americans in their lifetime, it may be diagnosed as osteoarthritis.
Unfortunately, many people who find themselves in this condition believe that invasive surgery is the only solution to treat their pain. Although surgery can be successful in reducing the pain, the high price tag and possible complications associated with the procedure make it less than ideal for most patients. Instead, sufferers can take matters into their own hands and try to naturally alleviate their pain at home. Here are six things you should do today to ensure you live a healthier, happier, and pain-free life.
When arthritis pain arises, the last thing many people want to do is move. However, remaining stationary may not aggravate your symptoms, but it also may not help address the problem at its source. New studies show that those who suffer from osteoarthritis should maintain a regular exercise regimen to both prevent and alleviate their chronic joint pain. Stick to low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or stationary cycling to reap the health benefits without placing additional stress on the joints of your body.
- Lose Weight
In addition to sustaining a regular excursive routine, maintaining a healthy body weight is one of your best defenses against arthritis pain. Carrying around additional weight places excessive stress on the joints of your body which leads to pain, especially in those with osteoarthritis. In fact, one pound of weight adds around four pounds of pressure on your joints. Focusing on eating a healthier diet and maintaining your daily exercise routine will help relieve this pressure and alleviate your pain. Furthermore, controlling your weight will improve your overall health and happiness as well, which is something everyone should strive for.
- Get New Shoes
Sometimes the simplest fixes can bring the greatest relief. This is especially true for those who suffer from chronic pain in their knees and hips. The shoes you wear play a vital role in the health of your body. If they do not provide ample support, additional stress will be placed on your hips and knees, flaring your arthritis symptoms and causing severe pain. Take a close look at the shoes you wear each day and make sure they provide the support you need. If not, get fitted for a pair that does – your body will thank you.
- Apply Heat and Cold Treatments
If you are looking for immediate pain relief from your osteoarthritis symptoms, applying heat or ice to the affected region is one of the best remedies. Heat or cold therapy works by stimulating your body’s own healing force. For example, heat treatment helps promote healthy blood circulation, dilates blood vessels, and helps reduce muscle spasms. Ice treatment, on the other hand, is great for reducing swelling by constricting the blood vessels. Depending on your specific symptoms, either of these remedies can be effective in alleviating pain caused by osteoarthritis – just be careful at how long you apply each treatment, in order to avoid burns.
- Utilize Natural Supplements
Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound found within the body that helps maintain healthy cartilage in joints. As we age, Glucosamine levels begin to drop, fact that leads to the gradual deterioration of the joint. In order to slow this deterioration, many doctors recommend taking a daily Glucosamine supplement. Some studies have shown that this supplement regimen can help ease mild pain associated with osteoarthritis, most notably in the knees and hips.
- Get Support from Braces
A new scientific study has revealed that a simple slip-on knee brace can reduce pain and bone marrow lesions caused by osteoarthritis. One of the key ways these braces work is by correcting misalignments in the knee. When excessive pressure is placed on the cartilage of the knee, it can lead to severe pain and swelling. By utilizing a knee brace, additional support is provided to relieve pressure on the joints and help decrease pain and swelling
Joint pain is a natural part of aging, but it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the daily activities you love. Taking small steps to living a healthier and pain-free life is the best way to make sure you stay happy and healthy. If you are interested in additional assistance or non-surgical pain relief solutions for your osteoarthritis pain, contact Windmill Health Center.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is a Co-owner and practicing chiropractor at Windmill Health Center in Weston, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.