Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that affects the joints and can also impact on bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.
Although it can develop in any joint, osteoarthritis mostly occurs in the knees and hips and is more common in people aged over 40 years or those who have had joint injuries.
To help you manage osteoarthritic pain, physiotherapist Tricia Stolp suggested the following:
If you’re overweight the chance of pain and damage to the hips and knees increases so try to reduce your calorie intake, eat fresh fruit and vegetables and include some calcium in your diet for added bone strength.
Try low-impact activities such as hydrotherapy, strengthening exercises and tai chi to protect sore joints. Exercise is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, but it’s important that you strike a balance between doing enough exercise to be of benefit and doing too much, which will exacerbate the pain. If you have a pre-existing condition, consult your doctor before commencing any exercise program.
Aids or supports
Use a walking stick, in the opposite hand to the side of your sore joint, to reduce weight bearing. Tape the knee or wear a knee brace or orthoses to relieve the pain.
Medication prescribed by your doctor may help you to manage the pain from arthritis.
Joint replacement surgery is an option for those who have debilitating pain that is affecting their everyday function and mobility.
As a qualified physiotherapist, Tricia can recommend a tailored exercise program to help manage your arthritic pain. Tricia works at Forresters Beach and Glengara Retirement Villages and is also available for home visits. Contact Tricia on 0490 014 413 to make an appointment or visit physioathome.com.au for further information.