Osteoarthritis is a painful type of arthritis. It is caused by the wear and tear of joint cartilage. It degenerates overtime. Those with a severe form of osteoarthritis literally have two bones rubbing together. This, unfortunately, is very painful. If you have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your doctor will recommend over-the-counter pain pills or write a prescription for stronger medication. Take these pills, but there is more that you can do and right at home.
I do take the medication that my Doctors prescribe but I use a lot of these suggestions below. The heat is my “go-to” home treatment. I need to work more on the exercise, which would really help if I had more muscle strength. Read on and tell me what helps you!
Exercise. Do not believe you must visit a gym to get a good workout. In fact, those suffering from osteoarthritis should start at home. Fitness centers have many great machines, but they may be too hard for you to use. Start with low impact exercises. You may feel pain at first, but it should minimize overtime. Your goal is to work and loosen your painful joints. This will reduce stiffness and lessen the later risk of deformities. Another goal is to build muscle strength. With strong muscles, you can rely on them more, as opposed to your painful joints.
Alter your activities at home. Of course, you don’t want to give up your passions. One should never let osteoarthritis get them down. To reduce pain or the likelihood of it, you will need to alter some of your at-home activities. For example, do you enjoy gardening? Instead of bending down, start an above ground garden with raised planters. Do you enjoy sewing by hand? If so, opt for a sewing machine. Fewer hand movements are required.
Use heat to treat pain. It has long been known that heat lessens pain. So, use it. Draw a warm bath and climb in. If positioning yourself in the bathtub is too difficult, opt for a reusable heating pad or a warm washcloth. Personally, heat helps my knees so much. It even helps with the swelling. I will hold my hands under warm water in the morning to help with pain and swelling. If the heat does not treat your pain or it stops working overtime, make the switch to a cold compress. It should have the same results. In fact, some medical professionals recommend switching between the two.
Learn to relax. There is no doubt that osteoarthritis patients deal with pain. In fact, they deal with severe pain and often. Still, our emotions play a huge role in the pain we experience. The more you focus on your pain, the more it will hurt. So, don’t. Instead of focusing on that pain, focus on ways to lessen the severity. Yes, pain relief products and heat will help, but so will relaxing or doing something that you love!
Research home remedies. Did you know that over-the-counter pain pills and topical arthritis creams are not the only way to seek relief? Many patients report success with natural and home remedies. One being supplements. Devil’s Claw, Cat’s Claw, and Gingko occasionally work. Certain foods can also provide natural relief from pain and inflammation. The supplement Bromelain is recommended, but it is also found naturally in pineapples (yummy). It reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. So, head to the internet and do a little bit of research. Your next stop may not be the medicine cabinet or the drug store, but your refrigerator or kitchen cupboard.
In short, osteoarthritis cannot be cured. Although it may seem as if all hope is lost, it is not. There are many ways to prevent, treat, and manage the pain and swelling associated with the disease. By taking the above-mentioned suggestions, you never have to leave home!
***I am not a physician- please do any and all things that your Doctor orders for you to do.***