Arthritis – inflammation in the joints – can affect young adults and children but most often develops as we age. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which affects the hands, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis causes pain as the cushion of cartilage breaks down and wears away.
You can develop osteoarthritis after injuring a joint. It’s important to be mindful about how you’re physically active after recovering from your injury. You want to avoid any activities that put your joint at risk for injury again.
The most common treatment for osteoarthritis is medication to block pain and reduce inflammation. In severe cases, people find relief through joint replacement surgery.
Here are 6 tips to help manage arthritis and joint pain:
Try to keep a healthy weight. To figure out how much you should weigh, try using a body mass index calculator.
Exercise. Ask your orthopaedic specialist for exercise suggestions to minimize your risk for injury. A daily walk helps many people with arthritis.
Protect joints you’ve injured in the past. For example, if you’ve severely injured your knee at some point, avoid activities that put excessive force and pressure on your joint, like running.
Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk for rheumatoid arthritis, which can affect your entire body. With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks your own joints.
Take any medication prescribed for arthritis as directed. Medications can reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Start your day with a warm shower. The heat from the water can help you get moving in the morning.
If you’re not sure whether you have arthritis, make sure to see an orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis. It’s important to know your treatment options to help prevent damage to your joints.