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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle Modification’ Category

Knee Pain

February 12, 2014
Knee Pain

Knee Pain

 

If your knee hurts enough that you found this blog post, chances are your arthritis is getting worse.  So what can you do?  You have plenty of options, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one is right for you.

Let’s start with the basics:  Lose weight, eat healthy, stretch, and exercise.  Yes, losing weight and eating healthy can be difficult.  But it’s not impossible.  Stretching and going for a walk is real simple.  Just doing these four simple things can make a big difference.  It’s completely up to you.  You don’t need a prescription, you don’t need to get health insurance involved.

Try this today.  Have a nice salad for lunch, then stretch your legs for five minutes, and then go for a half hour walk.  In just one hour you proactively treated your knee without drugs, without surgery, and without going to see a doctor.  Try doing this a few times a week.  Imagine the results if you stick with this simple plan for a month, or for a year?

Why not?



OA and Housework

January 31, 2013

Some housework involves heavy lifting, and can cause osteoarthritis over time.

There is a well known connection between osteoarthritis and heavy physical exercise. While intense exercise does negatively effect joints and often causes knee pain, this does not mean that all exercise increases risk of osteoarthritis.  In fact, new evidence suggests that routine stresses lead to osteoarthritis more often than exercise does.  Many studies do connect exercise to osteoarthritis, but this connection is most visible in professional superstars, and is far less common for recreational athletes.

A recent study at the Women’s Hospital of Boston examined the stresses that housework can put on the knee.  They found that housework often involved squatting, kneeling, and stair climbing, and that these activities increased risk of osteoarthritis.  This same study shows that recreational sports and fitness are more helpful than they are harmful.  Most of the stress applied to the knees comes from carrying body-weight, and so weight loss can be helpful in reducing knee pain and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis.

So be aware of the damage that housework and manual labor can do.  Most knee osteoarthritis develops slowly over time and is made worse by obesity.  If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, do not avoid exercise to avoid knee pain.  In the long run, weight loss will help you more than rest will.



Sleep/Recovery

August 2, 2012

Getting enough sleep is important.

Knee osteoarthritis can be very painful and cause the knee joint to swell and become inflamed. Proper rest and relaxation is crucial to maintaining mobility and reducing pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Sleep allows the body to recover and regenerate in order to reduce inflammation and heal the joints. A simple exercise routine combined with proper rest and recovery can be helpful in improving your overall knee health.

By maintaining a proper sleep schedule you can help your body recover faster and reduce overall pain and stiffness. You know your body better than anyone and if you feel sore or tired you might be in need of some recovery time in order to prevent injuries. We’re in the dog days of summer summer so make sure you have enough recovery time so you can enjoy the weather without knee pain.



An over the knee sleeve can be beneficial to an arthritic knee.  The sleeve will provide warmth and compression.  Do not underestimate how this can make your knee feel.  Even just a modicum of knee pain relief and additional stability might mean the difference between taking the steps or taking the elevator.  Small changes in your lifestyle can add up as the days, weeks, and months pass.  And decreasing the amount of medications you consume over the days, weeks, and months can also have a beneficial effect to your overall health.

It took years for osteoarthritis to deteriorate your cartilage, it will take some time to overcome and circumvent the damage.  Strong flexible legs should be your goal.  An over the knee sleeve can help!



 

 

Exercise, eating right, stretching, and weight loss are all important when it comes to controlling the pain associated with osteoarthritis.  This means lifestyle modifications.  A simple exercise and stretching program coupled with a change in diet can make a huge impact on the way your knees move and feel.  Think about all the other aspects of your life this will effect in a positive way.

And it doesn’t cost anything.  Walk and stretch everyday.  Eat fruit instead of chips and salsa.  No prescriptions.  No pharmacies.  No waiting rooms.  No co-pays.  It can’t hurt to try.

Relying solely on drugs will make the pain go away, but not what is causing the problems.  The drugs will not work forever.  And more importantly the drugs and medications will lead to other health problems not related to your knee pain.  Drugs address the symptoms not the disease.

Lifestyle modification is a necessary knee arthritis treatment for many patients.



4th of July and OA

4th of July and OA

A great way to treat your knee osteoarthritis is with a healthy diet.  Eating right can reduce pain and increase function in your arthritic knees.  For every ten pounds a person is overweight the stress on their knees increases by 30 to 40 pounds.  Multiple studies have shown that losing weight will ease the pain of knee osteoarthritis.

If you have OA, manage your diet this holiday weekend and manage your pain.  Enjoy your 4th of July BBQ – just enjoy it with more fruits and vegetables.



Lifestyle Modification

Lifestyle Modification

You get out of life exactly what you put into it.  If you suffer from knee osteoarthritis you may not need drugs, injections or surgery.  You may need to change your lifestyle.  How many times have your doctors told you to eat better and exercise more?

If your lifestyle is causing you pain by being overweight or not exercising enough, then change it.  Go for a walk.  Eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Stop with the fast food.  Curing knee pain can be as simple as losing weight and exercising more.  In the end the choice to live with or without knee pain is up to you.



Heavy Impact

March 23, 2011

Osteoarthritis affects more than 10,000 Americans annually. This degenerative joint disease makes basic tasks incredibly painful for those with severe cases. New studies have shown that weight can play a big culprit in the on-set of osteoarthritis.

Doctors at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center have found that an obese woman of average height who loses 11 pounds reduces her risk of knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent. That may seem unlikely, until you look at the numbers. A 10 pound weight gain adds an increase of force on the knee by up to 30-60 pounds, per step. That means if you’ve added on 20 pounds it’s like you’re putting the force of an entire other person onto your knees. Simple tasks like exercising and taking joint supplements can help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis.



Knee OA

Knee OA

The Annals of Internal Medicine reported this month that Americans over 50 with knee osteoarthritis lose about 86 million “quality-adjusted life-years”.  A computer simulation called the “Osteoarthritis Policy Model” examined the effects of knee OA and obesity.  The simulation compared adults between the ages of 50 to 84 and divided them into four groups:  obese patients, patients with Knee OA, obese patients with knee OA, and people without knee OA who aren’t obese.

Obese patients with knee OA lose twice as many “quality-adjusted life-years” compared to the group that wasn’t obese and didn’t have knee OA.  The groups that faired the worst were black and hispanic women.  The authors of the publication wrote, “the disproportionate burden these conditions impose on black and hispanic women suggests that future studies should investigate tailoring prevention and treatment strategies to sex and racial or ethnic subpopulations.”



There are alternatives to taking medication for osteoarthritis. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, many of the treatments we will briefly describe have been successful for people living with this degenerative condition. The first osteoarthritis treatment you may want to try is hot and cold therapy. Placing a hot compress to your joints will increase blood flow to the region and soothe inflammation. Applying a cold compress has a numbing effect on nerves that are sensitive to pain.

Another osteoarthritis treatment to try is a lifestyle change. Try changing your eating habits and kicking bad habits like smoking and drinking excessively. Increasing exercise will also help increase blood flow to your joints. Weight loss will also alleviate pressure on your joints since heavy people tend to stress their joints out faster than people in healthy weight ranges. These relatively minor, unobtrusive treatments can have a significant impact on the pain associated with osteoarthritis.