In the treatment for osteoarthritis, there are habits you can include in your daily routines that could help. Discover which are they.
Although there is no definitive cure for osteoarthritis, practicing some healthy habits can make it easier to control your symptoms. Discover some tips.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that compromises the health of the joints. It often affects people over 60 but can occur in adults of any age. Although there is no cure, some habits can prevent its progression. How should the treatment for osteoarthritis be?
At present, there’s a significant progress in controlling this disease, so in addition to base their treatment drugs such as analgesics, doctors often make other recommendations to manage the symptoms. If you suspect to have the disease, it would be useful for you to know which habits you need to change in your life, so discover them!
Habits to support the treatment for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis develops due to progressive damage in the joints. This deterioration can occur over time, either due to the aging process or a previous injury. In any case, it triggers symptoms such as pain, stiffness and difficulties to execute movements.
Although its level of severity can vary in each patient, in general, it usually produces a deterioration in the quality of life. Therefore, the treatment for osteoarthritis aims to reduce the progression of the disease and control the symptoms. What should you keep in mind?
Do physical exercise
Physical exercise promotes the well-being of the body in general and joints in particular, thus improving mobility.
The pains that osteoarthritis produces often diminish the ability to do certain exercises. However, it is not convenient to fall into inactivity. Doing regular low-impact exercise allows you to strengthen the muscles around the joints to avoid complications from the disease.
Among other things, about 20 or 30 minutes a day of physical activity serves to relieve stiffness and prevent pain crises. Thus, you can practice soft activities such as walking, swimming or stretching. You can also choose yoga or tai chi sessions.
Losing weight improves the treatment of osteoarthritis
Overweight and obesity are factors that can accelerate the deterioration of the joints in patients with osteoarthritis. In fact, both are included as possible triggers of the disease. Because of this, those who are above a normal weight should strive to lose weight.
A healthy weight decreases the pressure on the joints and, therefore, helps control episodes of pain. In addition, it decreases the risk of other health complications, such as cardiovascular diseases or metabolic syndrome.
Sleep problems can end up worsening the ailments and decreasing the quality of life.
Occasionally, the pain that occurs due to osteoarthritis affects the quality of sleep. Despite this, it is essential to try to sleep well every day, since rest is key to reducing swelling and inflammation in the joints. If you are having sleep problems, the following applies:
- Ensure a comfortable environment in the room.
- Avoid using the room to work.
- Stay away from distracting elements such as computers, phones or tablets before sleeping.
- Eat foods that promote sleep.
- Eat a healthy low-calorie dinner.
- Take relaxing infusions like passionflower tea or valerian.
Take natural infusions for the treatment for osteoarthritis
The medicinal infusions do not replace the pharmacological treatment prescribed by the doctor. However, its use may be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Some options recommended for their anti-inflammatory properties are: infusion of ginger, green tea and turmeric tea.
Apply a heat and cold therapy
Heat and cold therapy is an effective way to control the inflammatory process in the joints.
Heat and cold therapy can contribute to the treatment of osteoarthritis. The heat helps to open the blood vessels, improving circulation. Thanks to this, the transport of nutrients to the affected tissues is facilitated. Also, the heat produces a calming effect that decreases the rigidity.
For its part, the application of ice restricts blood vessels and decreases swelling and pain. For this reason, it is a good option to complement the effect of heat. How to perform therapy?
To start, apply heat with a hot water bag or heating pad. If you do not have any of these options, moisten a towel with hot water (be careful because you can burn yourself).
Subsequently, apply it for 20 minutes in the affected area and rest.
If you prefer to use the cold, wrap several ice cubes in a cloth or bag and, again, apply it for 20 minutes.
Caution: avoid applying the ice directly on the skin because it can be harmful. When applying heat, make sure that the temperature is bearable.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that can get worse without timely treatment. Because of this, it is essential to attend to the symptoms and request medical check-ups when the disease is suspected. The combination of medications and good habits makes the prognosis more positive.
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