How to Start Reclaiming Your Mobility When Facing Osteoarthr...

How to Start Reclaiming Your Mobility When Facing Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

December 14th, 2015

For many shrugging off joint pain was normal, until the moment that it wasn’t. It probably crept up slowly and only later felt urgent. This is the common experience of others like yourself that are facing osteoarthritis knee pain. The primary characteristic of osteoarthritis is the gradual joint degeneration that takes individuals by surprise. Understandably, the diagnosis may have been a relief, because now physicians can help you formulate a plan of action. The good news is that there is an abundance of treatment options to pick from, and getting started is as easy as reaching out to your nearest Rothman Institute orthopedic specialist.

Fast Facts:

  • Did you know that the 2012 National Health Interview Survey reported that 51 million individuals share an arthritis diagnosis of some kind?
  • Arthritis is highly individualized, and there are over 100 different variations of arthritis. An evaluation with a doctor will shed light on the unique features of your arthritis diagnosis.
  • No cure exists for arthritis, but there are well over 15 different types of treatment options available that may be recommended to help you manage your arthritis. You can take charge of your life by pursuing the right treatment to meet your needs.
  • Braving Osteoarthritis Knee Pain & Embracing the Lifestyle Change

Proactive treatment with supervision from your doctor will be the best option for individuals of every age and disease progression. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that impacts and wears down the meniscus and articular cartilage in the case of knee osteoarthritis. The normal hinge-like motion of the knee is inhibited because the cushioning gaps between the knee bones grind against each other when the cartilage decreases. Mobility can be compromised as a result.

With the goal of retaining mobility, nonsurgical treatments will require lifestyle modifications. The main purpose will be to reduce the amount of stress the joint receives. Losing weight needs to become a priority. Every little bit helps in this case, and should alleviate pain. Find exercises that you can incorporate into your daily life that do not put excessive strain on the joint. Discontinue any high-impact activities or exercises that leave your knee vulnerable through falls like in tennis or through repetitive motions like training by climbing stairs. Swimming or cycling are a few good options. It may feel counterintuitive because the pain prompts you to want to rest more, but too much rest may have negative consequences. Whatever you choose, the exercises should be realistic and enjoyable.

Another helpful tool to reduce joint stress would be the use of assistive medical devices recommended by doctors for arthritis patients. This could be a cane, brace, or knee sleeve. Two types of braces may be recommended depending on the arthritis characteristics. “Unloader” braces protect the pressured joint by moving weight away. “Support” braces offer more generalized, rather than regional, assistance with a knee’s movement overall. Orthopedic shoes or inserts may also help. Consult your doctor for a recommendation, especially if you notice your arthritis worsening.

Mobility may greatly increase if you practice treatments that target the strengthening of the afflicted region. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy as a means to practice strengthening movements for muscle groups surrounding the joint. Physical therapy may also increase your flexibility and even your range of motion.

Incremental progress may be seen over an extended period of time as you work to improve mobility in your life with osteoarthritis knee pain. Doctors at Rothman Institute will work with you to evaluate whether other treatments will be advantageous. These may include beneficial treatments like exercise, medication, alternative therapies, or even surgery.

For more information, or to get in touch with one of our specialists, please reach out to us at 1-800-321-9999.

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