Osteoarthritis Sufferers can Avoid Surgery by Caring for Their Knees

Osteoarthritis Sufferers can Avoid Surgery by Caring for Their Knees Blog  Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage at the end of bones wears thin. The areas of the body most vulnerable to this kind of arthritis are:

  • hips
  • hands
  • spine
  • knees

How osteoarthritis affects the knees:

The knees are often afflicted by osteoarthritis. As the cartilage dissolves the bones begin to rub together causing pain, mobility problems and sometimes even deformity.

The knees, of course, are used for walking and thereby crucial in daily living.

How to avoid knee surgery:

Keeping the knees healthy is, of course, extremely important. At times osteoarthritis requires surgery because of the level of knee pain and lack of mobility. However, surgery should be the last resort in dealing with the effects of this condition. There are many ways to avoid or at least delay knee surgery.

  • Lose weight- When it comes to extra pounds, the knees are impacted more than any other joint. Extra weight around the torso puts pressure on the knees. Even a weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds can reduce pain significantly. Those who are significantly overweight or obese should make a concerted effort to lose the extra pounds.
  • Physical Activity- Exercise burns calories and helps control weight, but beyond that, for the knees, it assists in lubricating the tissues and strengthens the muscles thereby protecting the cartilage. Additionally, if surgery does become a necessity, physical activity tends to shorten recovery time.

It should be noted that the type of exercise recommended for arthritis sufferers should be that which is easy on the joints. Walking, swimming or an elliptical machine are ideal for cardio and aerobic exercises. Yoga and Pilates can also help to strengthen and lubricate the joints.

How to relieve knee pain:

  • Braces- Both prescribed and over-the-counter knee braces offer support and comfort to the knee joints, reducing pain and improving mobility.
  • NSAIDs- Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen are particularly useful in reducing moderate pain.
  • Corticosteroid injections- Corticosteroid injections offer almost immediate relief of pain when injected into the afflicted area.
  • Prescriptions- Your doctor may also prescribe medication to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Holistic- The relief from over-the-counter and prescribed medications and corticosteroid injections, unfortunately, come with the possibility of adverse side-effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, may cause kidney or liver damage, especially with prolonged use. Many people are opting for holistic and natural methods to control pain.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture is the practice of inserting a series of needles to alleviate pain. It works along with the Endocannabinoid System to reduce pain and inflammation.

Supplements – There are many herbs, vitamins, and minerals found to strengthen and mobilize joints. Some of the most popular supplements to protect joints are calcium, Vitamin D, Glucosamine sulfate and Omega 3s.

Hyaluronic injections – As we age the body’s supply of hyaluronic acid thins. Hyaluronic acid injections help to reintroduce the natural lubricant to the joints.

Meditation and relaxation – Of course making sure you are getting plenty of sleep, relaxation, and focusing the mind on healing is also an important component of pain management.

When dealing with physical concerns and pain management, it is important to follow general health practices including nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep and stress relief. Cigarette smoking can exacerbate most any ailment and is bad for overall health. Drinking alcohol in excess, more than two drinks a day is also detrimental in fighting arthritis.
The methods of fighting arthritis and particularly knee pain is an individual choice and depends on the progression and severity. It is imperative that along with a sensible lifestyle and pain management plan that those with osteoarthritis seek the guidance of a doctor or healthcare professional.

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