We’re going to come out and say it — there is no cure for osteoarthritis. Once your cartilage has worn down, it’s gone for good. For years, you will be facing swelling in your joints and knees, causing stiffness and chronic pain.
Although drugs and surgery can provide temporary relief, they can cause more problems. Plus, the pain never really goes away with these treatments — the majority of knee replacement patients say that surgery has done nothing to ease their suffering.
But there are better methods out there to help with the pain! Here are five suggestions you can follow to help ease your symptoms without resorting to painkillers and surgery.
Tip 1 – Exercise
Chances are you’re not in the mood to exercise. But research has shown that physical activity is the best medicine for joint pain. It boosts your energy levels, strengthens your muscles and bones, and most importantly, keeps your joints flexible.
Your muscles can help protect and support your joints, so try concentrating on resistance training. And, as an added benefit, you can lose weight which reduces stress on your bones!
Tip 2 – Get a Good Night’s Sleep
In such a hectic world, it’s hard to get 40 winks. But sleep is the best therapy you can get. When you sleep, your body takes the time to repair and restore itself. Your blood pressure drops, your breathing slows down, and your blood flow moves to repair any tissue or muscle damage.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and remember to remove those pesky distractions like television and your phone! If you’re uncomfortable because of arthritis, try using pills to take the pressure off your joints.
Tip 3 – Using Hot and Cold Packs
By using a heating pad or a hot pack, your blood flow will increase, which helps relieve your pain and stiffness. Meanwhile, a cold compress can help alleviate the swelling in your joints.
You’re going to want to experiment a little to see which works best for you.
Tip 4 – Use Devices to Support the Joints
Medical devices such as splints, braces, and even canes can help ease your discomfort as well as prevent any more injury to your joints. These devices can make your life a little bit easier and help support the joint.
Tip 5 – Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Our last bit of advice is one we suggest everyone with OA to try. When your cartilage begins to deteriorate, it can affect the consistency of the synovial fluid surrounding the joint. It becomes watery and becomes less effective in protecting the joint. The bones begin to shift and grow closer together, which leads to bone on bone.
But hyaluronic acid can act like the synovial fluid. We inject the gel-like substance into your joint to build up that protection once again. And with physical therapy and a proper diet, your pain will lessen over time.
If you’re interested in learning more about our osteoarthritis treatment, let’s talk! Contact Northeast Knee & Joint Institute today for a risk-free consultation.