If the pain of osteoarthritis has you or a loved one feeling down, you’re not alone. Around 27 million Americans are living with osteoarthritis, making everyday tasks painful and challenging. Fortunately, there are lots of treatment options and steps you can take to ease your symptoms. Use these tips to help manage osteoarthritis pain and stay active.
- Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen are the first step in pain reduction for people with osteoarthritis. However, you shouldn’t take these medications longer than 10 days without consulting your doctor. If over-the-counter medications are not effective, your physician may recommend a stronger prescription anti-inflammatory medicine for pain relief.
- Stay active. While exercise may feel counterintuitive when your joints are in pain, it is vital for people with arthritis to stay active. Exercise strengthens muscles and helps keep joints healthy and flexible. Talk to your doctor about exercises that might be beneficial for your condition.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts extra pressure and strain on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, spine, hips, and ankles. This can increase joint damage and pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can ease your symptoms and make it easier to keep up with daily activities.
- Use hot and cold packs. Hot and cold packs are often used for pain relief, and may be helpful for those with arthritis. Heat increases blood flow, which can ease pain symptoms. Cold compresses help to reduce inflammation and swelling around joints. It may take some experimenting with heat and cold in order to find which type of compress works best for your symptoms.
- Talk to your doctor about alternative treatments. Some people with osteoarthritis have found alternative treatments to be helpful in managing pain and stiffness. Acupuncture has been shown to ease knee pain, while massage can increase blood flow to the joints. Always discuss alternative treatments with your physician first and seek out practitioners who have experience assisting people with arthritis.
Accepting help with day-to-day chores and activities can also allow people with osteoarthritis to reduce stress, rest, and heal. At Senior Home Care of Tucson, a dedicated provider of home and memory care in Oro Valley and the surrounding areas, it’s our privilege to help people with chronic conditions, like osteoarthritis, live their best lives in the comfort of home.
Our home care experts can help those with arthritis in a number of ways, including preparing healthy meals, providing housekeeping assistance, personal care assistance, errand running, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, and so much more. Contact us at (520) 355-4787 to arrange for a free in-home consultation to discuss how we can help.