Osteoarthritis (OA) might be the most common kind of the myriad of types that exist, but it’s also quite bothersome as it disrupts the golden years, which should be the best part of your life.
In most cases, osteoarthritis is the result of old injuries, genetics, or the wear and tear that inevitably comes with age. Life can become more complicated when you have a truly limiting condition, which complicates already existing chronic disorders.
How about not letting this obstacle keep interfering with your happiness and health and rather do something about it? OA is as treatable as any condition when you have the right tools.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that can result in significant inflammation. However, it can develop secondarily from rheumatoid arthritis in which you have an overactive immune response and the mayhem that follows from that.
Unfortunately, your bones and the tissue surrounding the joints work like an engine. Wear and tear will break underlying parts, leading to an engine that no longer functions at its finest. You’ll see this happening in the knees, hands, hips, and spine.
One of the parts that end up wearing down is the cartilage, which is the tissue between two bones. As the cartilage wears down, subsequently, the underlying bony tissue starts to deteriorate. Bones then become delicate, susceptible to cracks, and prone to injury.
Joints can start looking misshapen or crooked, and your range of motion decreases. The muscles surrounding the knee will also weaken over time. However, there’s a larger threat.
The University of Michigan reminds osteoarthritis sufferers of a painful truth about degenerative disorders. What starts in the knee can spread to the hips and, worse, the spine. Your organs and soft tissue in the body can also be affected.
Remembering the engine, what would happen if you stopped servicing the engine? What happens when the oil dries up, but you still keep driving the car regularly? The engine fails! But simple lifestyle changes can slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Look after your bone health, and you’ll start improving it immediately.
Promoting Bone Health
Reversing advanced degeneration isn’t probable, but you can slow the progress of any further damage with a few simple changes.
Physiotherapy is one of the most valuable OA management tools. It teaches you how to use specific movements to keep joints mobile and flexible. One of the other benefits is that it involves simple exercises to use in the comfort of your home.
Physiotherapy should be supervised by experts if you have cardiovascular conditions or advanced OA. However, these home routines are perfect for early-onset and mild OA. One alternative treatment that you can also consider is hydrotherapy.
Since your joints are fragile, the only type of exercise you should be doing is a low-impact routine. Regular exercise can improve muscle strength, flexibility around the joints, and pain. Exercise also elevates your mood naturally.
Harvard Medical School recommends one to two hours of low-impact exercise weekly for osteoarthritis sufferers over 65. Mild aerobic exercises also promote cardiovascular health and can be as simple as a walk in the park.
Quite literally, walking, swimming, and cycling on a lower gear are great low-impact options for osteoarthritis. Doing it outdoors is great for your mood, and you can use a knee brace to protect and strengthen the muscles around the knee.
Basic and flow yoga stretches can also help to restore some mobility in the joints, and you’ll have an instructor to guide you if you join the right class. Discuss your condition with the instructor and ask them to guide you gently.
The only rule with exercising for bone health is that you never force activity on a painful joint. Also, a good time to start your exercise is the afternoon because the muscles around the joints will be more relaxed. They tend to be tense in the morning.
What you eat will always impact your health, so adopt the DASH or Mediterranean diets to eat the right stuff and stay away from the foods you can’t eat. You can also use a self-healing trick to slow the progress of mild osteoarthritis.
The DASH and Mediterranean diets offer you these supplements naturally, but you can also ask your doctor about:
- Vitamin D
These supplements promote bone health.
Here are two frequently asked questions.
How Likely Am I to Require Replacement Surgery?
There’s no wrong or right answer, unfortunately. It’s dependent on your genetics and how advanced your condition is. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle certainly helps, but you should get the opinion of an orthopedist to better define your risk.
Should I Drink Plenty of Milk?
Milk provides calcium, but only consume fat-free or almond milk with arthritis.
It’s desirable to enjoy the golden years without physical restrictions, but good bone health can be achieved through appropriate lifestyle changes. Make those changes and improve your health.