Walking Off the Discomfort of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis affects one in ten people, and the numbers are rising. Once a disease thought to affect only the elderly, baby boomers in their 40s are experiencing the pain and discomfort of this condition as well. The reason? Experts speculate that these days much more is expected of our bodies, and the extended activity over a greater number of years is a contributing factor.
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition resulting from the deterioration of cartilage between the joints. It can affect people of any age, although it is more common in people as they become older. Weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and spine are most commonly affected, although osteoarthritis can strike other joints as well.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, however there are some simple steps sufferers can take to help alleviate the pain and discomfort. The number one recommendation is to exercise in the form of daily walks. Walking increases the blood flow to the joints, promoting increased blood flow for their nourishment and lubrication. This, in turn, will decrease stiffness and pain.
Walking barefoot provides increased nerve input, assisting in the correct placement of feet and the correct amount of pressure to apply. A level surface is best for walking, reducing the amount of stress on afflicted joints. Low-impact swimming is also an ideal exercise for those suffering with osteoarthritis.
Other suggested strategies for reducing the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis include supplements such as glucosamine and chondroiton, although any nutritional
Acupuncture has also been shown to help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis.