4 Ways to Manage Osteoarthritis Symptoms

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Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can affect one or more joints throughout the body. The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both types of arthritis can either appear suddenly or develop over time. If you have this condition, you may notice a decrease in your range of motion. You can also experience redness around the affected joint. In some cases, osteoarthritis can cause loss of appetite, inflammation, a slight fever, or a reduced red blood cell count. Here are four tips to help you to manage your osteoarthritis pain and stiffness and live a better life.

Heat and Cold

Heat and cold therapy for joint pain is a quick and effective way to help alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis. There’s a reason people reach for heat to feel soothed and comforted. Heat relaxes sore, tense and stiff muscles, improves circulation and stimulates blood flow. This process helps increase your range of motion and reduces stiffness in painful joints. If your osteoarthritis is causing a burning sensation, cold therapy can numb the areas that are causing you discomfort. This is done by using an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to reduce inflammation and swelling. Don’t apply heat to a joint that is already irritated, red, or hot, and don’t use cold therapy on a joint that is already stiff. Many studies have shown the benefits of alternating the two treatments on reducing inflammation and associated pain.

Medication

Many medications that treat osteoarthritis are available by prescription or are over the counter. Your doctor can prescribe medication to treat your osteoarthritis, including hydrocodone, or you can take acetaminophen for pain relief. To help decrease inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as Advil and salicylates can help. Salicylates work by thinning the blood. They should be used with caution if you’re taking other blood-thinning drugs. Capsaicin or creams that contain menthol block the transmission of pain signals from the joints. Cortisone and prednisone are immunosuppressants that help to reduce inflammation.

CBD Oil

There is much information being shared about CBD oil on social media, the news, and by people in local communities. CBD contains fatty acids which are good for the body, and especially osteoarthritis. CBD attaches to the receptors in the immune system and brain. These specialized receptors help manage inflammation and pain. When CBD enters the body, it can affect the way the receptors in the brain respond in order to alleviate pain. CBD is taken topically or orally in tincture, capsule, gummy or powder form. Gels or creams are applied to the areas that are affected by osteoarthritis.

Lifestyle Changes

Maintaining a healthy weight is vital at reducing your risk of developing osteoarthritis. A well-balanced diet is a requirement for weight loss and for preventing illness or disease. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants such as vegetables, herbs, and fresh fruits can reduce inflammation and prevent pain. Avoid or reduce processed foods, meat, dairy, and fried foods if you have arthritis. Regular, low-impact exercise such as swimming will reduce strain on your joints while allowing you to stay active.

Osteoarthritis is usually seen in adults over 65 years of age, but it can develop in younger adults, teens, and children. The most common symptoms of arthritis are swelling, stiffness and joint pain.

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