Osteoarthritis, one of the most common types of arthritis in adult patients, affects your joints. You’re more likely to deal with osteoarthritis in joints that take a lot of pressure and bear most of your body weight, like the joints in your legs and feet. Joints in your hand that do a lot of work every day are also commonly affected by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that can worsen over time if steps aren’t taken to slow its progression.
The orthopedic experts and physical therapists at South Texas Spinal Clinic can advise you on how to support your body in the struggle with osteoarthritis. Here’s some of the suggestions our care team provides to new and existing patients from our 11 locations in San Antonio and South Texas.
While osteoarthritis pain can make you want to hold still and not move your joints, you can lessen your symptoms by getting and staying active. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week can keep your joints moving slowly, strengthen your muscles, and support your hips and knees. Pay attention to your body’s pain signals, and use caution when starting new activities to avoid overuse.
Each pound you weigh puts your vulnerable joints under more pressure. If you have osteoarthritis, extra pressure caused by extra pounds isn’t something you need. Protect the cartilage that cushions your joints by reducing your body weight. Even a few pounds of weight loss can be a big deal for the load-bearing joints in your hips, knees, and ankles.
High blood sugar and diabetes also correlate with a risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage damage. You may need to change your dietary habits to lose weight and control your blood sugar.
Smoking cigarettes increases your body’s vulnerability to inflammation and decreases needed blood flow to your extremities. If you’re suffering from pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis, quitting smoking can make a big difference in your vascular health and reduce your inflammation levels. The team at South Texas Spinal Clinic can recommend successful smoking cessation techniques.
Daily life is full of stresses, and the pain and inflammation symptoms of osteoarthritis don’t help. But effectively managing your stress levels is essential to addressing your osteoarthritis symptoms and slowing the progression of the condition. Techniques like meditation and mindfulness, or practices like yoga, can help you reduce your stress level and tame osteoarthritis flare-ups.
Your sleep has a bigger effect on your overall health and wellness than you might think. While you may not be able to change the effects of age on your cartilage and joints, getting plenty of rest and high-quality, uninterrupted sleep can keep you moving easily long into your golden years.
If you struggle with insomnia due to osteoarthritis pain, talk to a team member at South Texas Spinal Clinic about solutions.
To learn more about managing your osteoarthritis symptoms and slowing the progression of this chronic condition, get in touch with South Texas Spinal Clinic today. Book your initial consultation over the phone, or use the online tool now to schedule your appointment at one of our convenient South Texas locations.