The older you get, the more knee and finger joints feel more like creaky rusted door hinges than working lubricated joints, especially if you suffer from arthritis. While some symptoms associated with osteoarthritis may inevitable, let’s look at how to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.
What is arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and is commonly associated with aging. The symptoms that it produces range from joint pain and stiffness to swelling and loss of flexibility. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis since you cannot reverse joint cartilage degeneration. You can, however, treat it.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very different type of arthritis and is an autoimmune disorder. While some of these tips might prove helpful for RA, you will want to seek medical help if you suspect you have RA as it can affect organs ranging from your kidneys to your heart, as well as your eyes, nerves, bone marrow, and more. It may even cause weight loss, so if you’re suddenly seeing the scale drop without reason, make an appointment with your doctor.
Treatment options for osteoarthritis
If you know for certain that arthritis symptoms you’re experiencing is that of osteoarthritis, you have a handful of treatment options to explore. Some of these will offer immediate reduction in pain and stiffness, while others may take weeks or months to see a real improvement.
Use CBD Oil to Reduce Pain of Osteoarthritis
In an earlier blog, it was mentioned that CBD oil can be a fantastic option to relieve some of the pain associated with arthritis, and may reduce inflammation over time. If you are looking for a remedy to start working within a week or two, CBD can be an ideal treatment. Before you start Googling it, yes, CBD is federally legal in the United States since it is a hemp-based product. THC, on the other hand, is still federally illegal to consume. There is evidence from a 2017 study that consuming CBD is a safe and helpful way to treat osteoarthritis.
Further anecdotal evidence suggests that the pain associated with osteoarthritis can be combated with the appropriate level of CBD. If you’re not sure what CBD oil to purchase for your joint pain, contact a local vape shop, or online manufacturer, to see how you could use CBD for pain. (And don’t worry, since CBD is not THC, you won’t feel any type of high when you consume it.)
While not glamorous or an over-night treatment, losing weight can be a substantial relief on arthritis if you are overweight. Reducing the weight on your weight-bearing joints, especially hips and knees, can help prevent arthritis from becoming worse. You’ll also notice other benefits if you are able to reduce your body weight, such as a cardiovascular improvement. Excess fat tissue also produces proteins that increase inflammation around your joints, which directly exacerbates arthritis symptoms.
Change your diet to reduce pain of osteoarthritis
Even if you do not need to lose weight, your arthritis symptoms may decrease if you switch out certain foods for healthier options. There are six foods that are directly related to flare-ups of arthritis, including sugar, excess sodium, fried foods, white flour, omega-6 fatty acids, and dairy. While this might at first glance seem limiting, with a little creativity, you can find some options to have a fun diet without adding to your joint pain.
If your knees are feeling joint pain and stiffness, you would likely benefit from physical therapy. Your doctor can recommend a local physical therapist to help you improve your mobility and lessen your pain and stiffness while also teaching you various ways to perform tasks differently, such as sitting, standing, or going up stairs. By implementing new ways of performing old tasks, you’ll reduce the pressure on your knees or hips. Once you go to a couple sessions with a professional physical therapist, you’ll be able to do many of the exercises at home.
Some physical therapists may have you do hydrotherapy, which allows for gentle movements in water to help loosen your joints. If you’ve recently stopped working out because of associated pain, you may want to join a local pool. Swimming is one of the easiest exercises on your joints, and incredibly healthy for your heart and lungs. If possible, opt for a swimming pool that is heated since this will help with mobility.
Talk to your doctor
If you are finding that you’ve exhausted your resources, and are still not finding any relief from pain and stiffness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about other options including pain killers, cold and heat therapy, acupuncture or even discuss taking Cymbalta, an antidepressant that has shown to reduce pain of osteoarthritis symptoms.