Dealing With Osteoarthritis: 6 Tips for Managing Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It's a "wear-and-tear disease" that keeps many doctors, physical therapists, movement specialists, acupuncturists and surgeons busy these days, says New York Times health columnist Jane Brody.
With so much advice on how best to treat arthritis coming from so many quarters, there's bound to be some confusion. But there's one point on which all of the experts agree: Arthritis sufferers need to keep moving. Regular exercise helps retain mobility, reduce pain, and slow progression of the disease. Here is Brody's summary of other important first steps in treating arthritis:
- Achieve and maintain normal body weight. Knees and hips are weight-bearing joints. Force on the knee with each foot strike is two to three times as great as body weight, so losing just 11 pounds takes the equivalent of 22 to 33 pounds of pressure off the knees.
- Avoid stressful activities such as prolonged standing, kneeling, squatting and stair climbing. This will reduce knee pain.
- Wear comfortable, shock-absorbing shoes and heel wedges. A walking stick, used in the hand opposite that of the affected knee or hip, can also be helpful.