Arthritis – specifically osteoarthritis also known as “wear and tear” arthritis – is a sneaky condition. Often progressing slowly, early on the symptoms are subtle, difficult to even notice. Eventually they become more pronounced, more annoying.. and then one-day you suddenly realize that it has become painful to do many simple tasks.
Over 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that typically manifests after age 65. In some instances, however, it can affect healthy, young adults in their late 20’s or 30’s. As with many pain-driven diseases that have no known cure, osteoarthritis can be tricky to treat. Vioxx, a popular arthritis pain medication, was recently recalled due to potentially deadly side effects. Other prescription arthritis pain medications will also likely be pulled for similar reasons. Despite these set-backs, there are still some viable, non-addictive options for treating osteoarthritis.
Supplements and diet
Research shows that Omega-3s can lubricate the joints and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate not only relieve pain, but may actually aid in cartridge renewal.
Strategic joint movement Pain and stiffness is often most acute after not using a joint for a prolonged period of time, so try to use your affected joints every so often. Unfortunately, too much use can also aggravate pain, so you must strike a careful balance. Weight management Obese individuals are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis because the weight puts additional strain on the joints. Medical research also suggests that the hormonal changes that accompany obesity can accelerate the condition. Arthritis braces and gloves Special arthritis gloves and braces help alleviate hand and wrist pain by applying pressure and controlling joint movement. Cortisone or Hyaluronic acid injections. Cortisone can help decrease inflammation and thus relieve pain. A possible drawback is that overuse may actually further damage the joint, so limit shots to three per year. Hydraluronic acid injections may decrease pain by lubricating the joint for a period of 3 to 5 weeks. Acupuncture Several studies have shown that acupuncture may decrease osteoarthritis symptoms over time. Hot and cold therapy Heat wraps, moist heat therapy pads and ice packs can be used to decrease swelling and blood flow to affected areas and thus control pain. Magnet Therapy Some studies found that magnet therapy may be beneficial for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis.