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:
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.
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.
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.
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.