Osteoarthritis Treatment: What You Should Know About Your Options
Many people believe osteoarthritis to simply be an inevitability of aging. While it is, inherently, a condition that develops as you age, that doesn't mean it's inevitable. However, if you are one of the many people who are diagnosed with osteoarthritis each year, you might then wonder how best to treat your pain. There are some things that you should understand about osteoarthritis and its treatment options. Here are a couple of those things to consider and discuss with your doctor.
Exercise Really Can Help
It might seem counter-intuitive that more activity can help a condition that causes you pain when you move. However, for those with osteoarthritis, exercise truly is beneficial. You'll find that a routine exercise regimen can help to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, providing added support to help moderate pain and discomfort. Skipping activity will reduce your pain initially, but will actually allow the joint and the muscles to stiffen, increasing your pain levels in the long run.
Losing Weight May Reduce Discomfort
If your doctor recommends that you see a nutritionist or start a weight-loss plan, don't be offended. The truth is, they are actually trying to help you manage your osteoarthritis pain. When you lose weight, you reduce some of the strain on your joints. The lower your body weight, the less work your joints and muscles have to do to move your body. If your doctor has recommended that you lose a little bit of weight, take the consideration seriously to help reduce your pain levels.
Pain Relief Can Come In Many Forms
While exercise and weight loss might help to reduce your pain a little bit, neither of these will provide you the same level of relief that you can get from other treatments. Topical gels, oral pain relievers, and steroid injections may all help provide you with pain relief. Your doctor can advise you which of these may be the most effective given your personal situation, so ask about your treatment options.
These are just some of the things that you should know about osteoarthritis after you're diagnosed. Talk with your doctor about your treatment options, the steps you can take to mitigate the condition, and anything else that you should know about lifestyle changes, medications, surgical treatments, and more. The more information you have from the beginning, the easier it is to advocate for your personal treatment plan.
For more information about osteoarthritis pain treatment, contact a doctor.