Managing Osteoarthritis
- May 09, 2016
Osteoarthritis affects many people of all ages. It is the wearing away of the smooth surface of the joint to the point that eventually bone is rubbing on bone. Most patients notice a dull, achy, sometimes sharp pain when first getting up after prolonged sitting, getting out of a low seat or car, and walking stairs.
This condition is caused by a variety of factors including genetics and occupation, and gets worse over time. Although some causes can’t be controlled, there are things you can do to slow the progression and relieve the pain from arthritis.
  1. Protect Your Joints – Use kneepads whenever possible and avoid high-risk, high-impact activities that may irritate your joints.
  2. Exercise Regularly – Stretching and exercising regularly not only helps with blood circulation and weight loss, but it also decreases the risk of injuries that can lead to damaged cartilage.
  3. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet – Eating a balanced diet enhances the body’s ability to heal itself while providing the proper nutrients for healthy, resilient cartilage. Consuming calcium-rich foods is also essential for maintaining bone and cartilage health.
  4. Lose Excess Weight – Losing excess weight can dramatically reduce a person’s chance of developing osteoarthritis. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University showed that losing 10 pounds decreased a person’s risk of osteoarthritis by 50%. For each pound of weight lost, a person’s body takes off four pounds of pressure from your knees and hips.
For those affected with osteoarthritis, diet, exercise and physician-prescribed medications may help alleviate the symptoms, but for some, joint replacement therapy may the best solution. The following key signs can help you identify whether you or someone you know might be a candidate for joint replacement surgery:
  • Daily joint pain that limits your ability to do the activities that you need and/or want to do
  • Joint pain that interferes with a restful night’s sleep
  • Decreased range of motion in a joint
  • Grinding sensations in a joint
  • Change in alignment of a joint (i.e. becoming “bow-legged”)
  • Joints that painfully pop and crack
Schneck Orthopedics & Sports Medicine delivers a comprehensive range of musculoskeletal services, featuring Schneck’s innovative Joint Replacement Program aimed to streamline the recovery process for total joint replacement patients.