Arthritis is a common condition that affects 3.85 million Australians. Research suggests that early intervention can delay the onset of the condition and may reduce the number of cases of osteoarthritis by about 500,000 within 15 years.
Arthritis is a broad term used to describe any condition that affects joints. There are over 100 specific arthritic medical conditions with each progressing in a different way, affecting the joint differently.
The most common arthritic condition is Osteoarthritis, which in conjunction with other factors is predominantly associated with wear and tear of the joint and can progress over several years.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that slowly progresses and gets worse over time that is characterised by joint pain, stiffness and swelling especially in the morning and after a time without activity. Some patients even claim that their symptoms get worse in the cold.
The best treatment is prevention but if you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis there are a few things that you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms.
How to manage osteoarthritis every day
By staying active and keeping the joints moving it will keep the joint from stiffening up and keeps the muscles strong. Low impact activity like walking or cycling is best, by reducing impact it reduced the wear and tear on the joint.
Doing water aerobics or activity in water is the best progression when symptoms get a little unmanageable. Doing activity in water is great owing to its properties mainly pressure and buoyancy. The buoyancy keeps gravity off the joints and the water pressure helps with swelling.
Long term management should always include reducing overall body weight. Reducing weight will reduce the pressures on the joints especially the large weight bearing joints of the hips and knees.
A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce joint inflammation.
Food such as deep water fish and certain nuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin C and Vitamin D is also important to reduce the inflammatory response hence a healthy dose of sunlight and plenty of fruit is important.
Improved posture keeps stresses off joints and allows the body mechanics to function at its best. Improved body mechanics reduces the stress placed on the joints in turn reducing the wear and tear.
With osteoarthritis, due to the restriction in the joints, it effects the muscles surrounding the joint. The muscles can become stiff and tight resulting in aches and pains radiating away from the joint. With regular treatments it reduces the symptoms of muscle tightness and keeps the joints mobile.
Before you do consider any type of management it’s always advised to chat with your health care professional about your specific condition and management that is tailored to you.
If you’d like to find out how we can help you or someone you know with osteoarthritis, give us a ring.