Do you find your knees and hips aching after sitting for too long? Has getting up from a chair or car seat become painful? This is a common complaint of people with knee or hip osteoarthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Osteoarthritis affects over 32.5 million US adults.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the inflammation of the bone joint. Most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gouty Arthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the degenerative disease of the cartilage and bone. Major symptoms are pain and stiffness mainly in the weight bearing joints such as the hips, knees and spine. There are mechanical irregularities on the joint surfaces. Remember: Osteoarthritis is a chronic (long duration) condition and it can be managed but NOT cured.
What are the contributing factors?
Some important factors include: A. Age- wear and tear on joints increases with age. B. Sex – women are affected more than men. C. weight- increased body weight loads the weight bearing joints more. D. injury/damage – due to fall/ accident/sports: will lead to early degeneration of the joints.
What are the tools doctors use to diagnose arthritis?
Physical examination, blood test, body mass index (BMI), X rays, MRI – are some of the tests which help diagnose arthritis.
How will I prevent severe wear and tear (arthritis) of my joints?
Weight loss, managing aches in the early stages, improved activity levels: especially being physically active on a consistent basis and life style changes such as eating healthy are some of the ways to prevent severe wear and tear on your joints.
What type of treatment is available for arthritis?
A wide range of medical treatments available: starting from Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen, Physical therapy, local corticosteroid injections, joint lubricants in form of pills and injections, arthroscopic surgeries on out-patient basis and in extreme circumstances TOTAL JOINT REPLACEMENT.
Here are the five natural ways to help your arthritic joints:
Exercises can help minimize pain, improve strength and flexibility, improve ability to walk independently, perform activities of daily living without pain or discomfort, and improve participation in recreational activities and help return to active life style.
How does Physical Therapy help people with arthritis?
With the help of a Physical Therapist you will learn: Joint Protection Techniques, Pacing activities and Energy Conservation, Work Simplification and Self-Management Skills.
Can you please explain me a little more about the benefits of exercises?
Physical Therapy treatment: 1. Address proper alignment of the weight bearing joint. 2. Strengthen weak muscles. 3. Stretch tight joints to restore mobility. 4. Soothe painful joints through use of modalities such as Clinical Ultrasound, Paraffin Wax Bath, Low Level Laser, Interferential Current Therapy and Moist Heat.
I already have arthritis. Can I start exercising now?
Absolutely YES. There are a lot of evidence based research studies available which demonstrate that regular exercises structured to strengthen musculature will improve functional mobility. Contact Dynamic Physical Therapy Schedule an appointment today.
For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces pressure on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight can relieve pain, improve function, and slow the progression of Osteoarthritis.
Protect your joints. Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints. Contact us today to learn more about how to exercise safely with arthritis.
Avoiding inflammatory foods – There are foods that increase the body’s natural inflammation response. Arthritis is a condition of joints that become inflamed. Therefore, by avoiding foods with high fat, fried foods, sodas, high sugar content and processed foods, you help to naturally relieve the inflammation in your body. This helps a number of other systems in your body too.
Vitamins According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are studies showing some benefits to using glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is naturally made in the body and helps support the cartilage by retaining water and preventing wear. Some studies show that glucosamine may slow down joint damage.
Sleep is a time for our body and brain to repair itself. It is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep 7-8 hours at least to allow your body to repair and decrease pain. When you are tired, your body does not function as well, increases the inflammatory response and reduces your pain threshold.