To enjoy life and good health, the body has to move. Activities that are great for your body aren’t so great for your joints. Wear and tear on cartilage means bone rubbing bone–painful–known as arthritis.
There are numerous kinds of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Chances are all of us will experience osteoarthritis somewhere, and to some degree, in our lifetimes. You don’t need to be an athlete or have experienced an injury to be at risk. Aging is a contributor followed by excessive weight; repetitive motion stress and lack of mobility of the joints.
Osteoarthritis is not curable so slowing the disintegration of the cartilage and managing the pain are keys to living with it. The majority of healthcare practitioners, including chiropractors, state the top two ways to slow joint damage AND relieve symptoms are to lose weight and exercise.
Obviously, being overweight adds additional stress to joints that are already working hard to keep you moving: your back, hips, knees and feet. Maintaining a healthy weight for your height and bone structure reduces pain and slows joint damage. Food choices are a part of weight management and can help ease inflammation. Adding anti-inflammatory foods such as oily fish (high in Omega-3 fatty acids), soy (such as edamame or tofu), olive oil and cherries to your diet is not only good for your waistline but also your joints.
Get moving! It may hurt in the short-term to move stiff and swollen joints but your body will thank you in the end. Studies show that just a walk around the block every day or participating in a gentle yoga class, for example, reduces pain and helps with weight management. Strength training (lifting weights) builds muscle which eases the stress on the joints, also helping reduce pain. (Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.)
The third way to relieve joint pain includes chiropractic care. Osteoarthritis involves joints and chiropractic adjustments focus on getting joints moving properly. This can be a great choice to help relieve pain without medication. Click here for additional information about chiropractic and osteoarthritis.
You may have to live with osteoarthritis but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. If you haven’t already, consider adding chiropractic care to your exercise and healthy diet regime for a non-medication plan to manage osteoarthritis pain.
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