30 Jan 5 Tips for Combatting Your Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of chronic pain out there. In fact, arthritis is one of the most common conditions that can develop as a person ages, even if you’ve led a healthy life. Arthritis itself is any joint condition that causes pain, inflammation, degeneration, and dysfunction. Knee osteoarthritis is the most common types of arthritis. If you suffer from knee osteoarthritis, here are some ways to find pain relief and healing!
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a condition where the cartilage around the joints either wears away from use and age, or the body starts to break down cartilage through inflammation. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms of arthritis and the most debilitating. Osteoarthritis is the first we mentioned, where cartilage simply wears down over time, leaving bones to grind on other bones.
Rheumatoid arthritis is less common than osteoarthritis, and this is where the body’s autoimmune response creates inflammation to break down cartilage in the joints, as if they were a virus.
The CDC estimates that 78 million U.S. adults will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2040. The CDC also reports that about one in two people will develop age-related arthritis (usually in the knees) by the time they are 85. Arthritis most commonly presents itself in the knees, hips, wrists or fingers, as these joints are used very frequently. Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms we see in patients.
Healthy cartilage allows the bones to glide over one another smoothly with day-to-day activities. With arthritis, the degeneration of the cartilage between joints and its associated inflammation does not allow that.
Tips for Combating Your Knee Osteoarthritis
Weight loss and exercise are major factors in how quickly your joints become inflamed and deteriorate. If you’re carrying around a lot of extra weight, that is added stress placed on your joints, which will deteriorate them faster. Movements take more effort, inflammation can worsen, and you can lose your range-of-motion more quickly.
If you want to start combating your knee osteoarthritis, make small changes to have a healthier life, even if you’re already healthy! Get down to a healthy weight for your body and make sure you’re eating right. Your body needs 6 essential nutrients every day in order to work properly and last longer. Those include protein (this is a big one), vitamins, minerals, water, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats. If you do nothing else, try cutting out sodas, sugars, greasy, and fatty foods. Those will make more room for a healthier diet and will decrease your risk for other chronic conditions.
It’s a myth that you can’t exercise if you already have arthritis. In fact, patients who invest in physical therapy and proper exercises for their body can actually relieve inflammation and pain that happens with knee osteoarthritis. To avoid injury, you will want to meet with one of our physical therapists to start an easy exercise plan to curb pain and keep you active. For patients that need braces for extra support or anti-inflammatory injections, we can help set up a plan for pain relief as you exercise.
Therapies That Can Help
We see knee osteoarthritis all the time in our office, and we know there are effective treatments that can help you. Some of our most popular include:
- Chiropractic Care – We provide natural, drugless treatments to manipulate the body’s muscular, nervous and skeletal systems and stimulate the body’s inherent healing ability. Properly aligning the body will relieve tension on muscles and joints, which can significantly improve your arthritis pain. It will also help improve your range of motion. You will see a positive change in the way your body moves and feels with our chiropractic care.
- Joint Injections – Our patients love our joint injections! We provide injections of cortisone for immediate relief of pain. The cortisone works to stop inflammation and to lubricate the joints so that the pain of the grinding is greatly diminished. It’s like a power shot to the joints that will help you be pain free for weeks.
- Physical Therapy – Find pain relief and learn exercises that can help you stay active for years to come. Not exercising will lead to worse complications with arthritis. Working with a professional physical therapist can ensure you avoid injuries that make arthritis worse, as you improve your ability to move with knee osteoarthritis.
- Stem Cell Therapy – For patients that would like to regenerate lost tissues from arthritis, stem cell therapy is an option. Stem cells are neutral cells in the body that repair an injury after damage. That is how you have a scar after being injured. Stem cells can also help repair damage to the joints. See if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy by calling our office!
A Final Note
Because arthritis affects such a large number of our society, research efforts are ongoing. The Arthritis Foundation offers the following strategies for helping to prevent arthritis:
- Make exercise a habit to build muscle strength around joints and offer protection.
- Incorporate foods that reduce inflammation, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
- Ensure your diet is rich in the essential nutrients to aid in bone and joint health.
- Maintain a proper weight to reduce burdens on joints.
- Consider lifestyle activities that result in overuse injuries.
- Avoid injuries by using proper equipment.
- Seek treatment early when you see arthritic symptoms to try and stop it in its tracks.
See which of these tips help you with the pain and immobility you feel from your osteoarthritis. Try some at home, and try some of our therapies in-office to see how you benefit. Call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!