What can be done about Osteoarthritis?
There is a lot that can be done to reduce the effects of osteoarthritis. In fact, the outlook for people with osteoarthritis is far better today than it has ever been!
There is a very positive relationship between exercise and the management of osteoarthritis. Exercise has many benefits for the person with osteoarthritis.
Exercise will help to:
- Decrease pain;
- Keep joints mobile;
- Increase muscle strength;
- Strengthen bones and ligaments; prevent joint deformities;
- Provide nourishment to joints;
- Increase general fitness and wellbeing;
- Maintain and increase your ability to perform daily tasks.
Water exercise is of particular benefit to people with osteoarthritis as the warmth and buoyancy of the water makes movement much easier. Gentle exercise programs such as Pilates can also be useful as it can be graduated, low impact and involve all of the body.
Medication is often prescribed in osteoarthritis. Paracetamol can be used for the effective relief of pain and discomfort. Aspirin and medications known as Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to treat inflammation and pain.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no diet that will cure osteoarthritis. It is advisable to maintain a balanced healthy diet and control body weight. There is a great deal of excellent material on healthy eating now available within the community.
There development of highly successful surgical techniques has led to an increase in the number of joint replacements especially of hips, knees and, less commonly, shoulders, that are now being preformed. For many, this has meant a dramatic improvement in quality of life.
Be sure to discuss all your concerns and questions with you surgeon before entering hospital.