Over 100 million Americans suffer from knee and joint pain. A major cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease or wear-and-tear arthritis, which most commonly occurs in the knee. OA happens when the cartilage that covers the joints break down and the amount of synovial fluid (which helps to lubricate and cushion the joint) diminishes. The result is often sore or stiff knees, clicking or cracking sounds, and sometimes mild swelling.
Getting diagnosed with OA may be difficult to face to first, as it can often make simple, everyday tasks difficult or rob you of the physical activities you once loved. However, there are ways to cope with OA by adding minor lifestyle changes to your routine. Here are five tips for living with arthritis of the knee.
1. Exercise Regularly
It may seem counterintuitive to introduce regular exercise into your daily routine after being diagnosed with OA, but the last thing you should do is react to pain with complete inactivity. Exercising regularly helps to strengthen your muscles and bones in order to help keep your joints flexible. Aerobic workouts, such as swimming and walking, help to burn calories and naturally lubricate joints, which in turn can help reduce the amount of knee pain you experience.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
One of the best ways to manage arthritic knee pain is to manage your weight and adopt a more balanced diet. Consuming a variety of nutrients has been shown to help ease the symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and fish oil), and fruits and vegetables help to alleviate pain overtime. Turmeric, a flavorful spice, also has anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial for arthritis sufferers as well.
3. Use Hot and Cold Treatment
Using a hot and cold treatment is a quick and efficient way to get pain relief your knees are causing you too much discomfort before or in between treatments. Hot packs help to increase blood flow which helps to ease pain and stiffness, while cold compresses help to reduce swelling. Alternate between ice packs and hot packs on days that you experience more arthritic knee pain than usual.
4. Wear Supportive Shoes
If you suffer from arthritis of the knee, wearing shoes that are comfortable and supportive is one of the best things you can do for your condition. Flat, flexible shoes or sneakers can actually help reduce the force exerted on the joints, which in turn helps to reduce knee pain all together. Experts suggest wearing high-quality boots or shoes made of durable materials rather than flimsy footwear such as flip-flops.
5. Learn Your Treatment Options
While there are things you can do to help alleviate pain caused by arthritis of the knee, it is always best to seek out more permanent treatment options. There are several treatment options for OA, but one of the most effective methods is through Hyalgan injections. This noninvasive method helps to relieve your pain by lubricating and cushioning the joint.
Living with arthritic knee pain can become an everyday battle. While lifestyle changes and home remedies may help to alleviate pain in some small way, the underlying condition causing the knee pain is still present.
At Arthritis Care of Texas, our team of knee specialists in have helped thousands of patients relieve severe, chronic arthritic pain by utilizing guided pain injections alongside our state-of-the-art fluoroscopy x-ray to ensure accuracy. Your knee pain may be significantly reduced, and possibly eliminated, without painful surgery or a lifetime of oral medications. Call our knee treatment specialists at (469) 399-5672 to schedule a FREE, complimentary knee pain screenings today.