What Can I Do About Osteoarthritis Pain?

What Can I Do About Osteoarthritis Pain?

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that causes stiffness and pain in the joints. It can be difficult to control, but you can minimize pain and maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper treatment and pain management techniques.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that attacks cartilage, the rubbery material that cushions bone ends and absorbs shock in a healthy joint. It is sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease and makes the cartilage stiff and less elastic, which increases the likelihood of cartilage damage. When the cartilage begins to wear away, it reduces its ability to function properly, and pain results as the tendons and ligaments in the joint stretch. Eventually, the cartilage may wear away enough that the bones in the joint rub against each other. Osteoarthritis can affect most joints in the body, but it is most common in the hands, feet, knees, hips, neck, and back.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Joint aching
  • Pain after periods of overuse or inactivity
  • Bony enlargements in the joint that may or may not be painful
  • Loss of joint motion

Coping with Osteoarthritis

Managing pain and increasing joint mobility are two of the main goals when dealing with osteoarthritis. The following pain coping strategies can be used to reduce joint pain.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis

  • Exercise: low impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and bicycling, are a great way to reduce pain, strengthen the joint, and increase flexibility.
  • Weight control: extra weight puts additional stress on joints, so maintaining a healthy weight helps relieve osteoarthritis symptoms. Even losing as little as 10 extra pounds can take extra stress off your joints!
  • Hot and cold therapy: the application of heat promotes blood flow and circulation and the application of cold can reduce inflammation and swelling – both which help joint stiffness.
  • Massage: a massage may help increase blood flow and warmth, and is a great way to help you relax and find relief from the pain.
  • Joint protection: take steps to protect your joints, like wearing supportive shoes, alternating between sitting and standing, or wearing proper joint support.
  • Stretch: stretching helps increase range of motion in your joints.

Osteoarthritis treatment includes a number of approaches designed to control pain and improve joint function. For instance, we offer Alpha-2-Macroglobulin (A2M) for osteoarthritis and inflammation. This non-surgical treatment utilizes A2M protein molecules to inhibit the breakdown of cartilage. These protein molecules are found naturally within the body and attach themselves to destructive proteins in order to remove them from the joint. A2M ultimately boosts the natural healing process by stopping cartilage deterioration as well as support tissue growth to rebuild the structure and strength of the joint.

Always work with your doctor or an orthopedic specialist when seeking osteoarthritis treatment. If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, come by and see us. We can help you manage the disease and live a healthier life. Call 806.350.BONE (2663).

5 Steps for Preventing Overuse Injuries

5 Steps for Preventing Overuse Injuries

Every athlete should know what an overuse injury is. It’s important to their safety, health, and long-term performance. However, if you’re new to the game, we want you to know how to protect yourself and prevent any mishaps for occurring.

Overuse injuries from sports typically affect one or more areas of the musculoskeletal system. This may lead to:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Immobility
  • Limited motion

While there are effective treatments for these sports injuries, it is always better to take the preventative approach. Here are five steps to preventing an overuse injury:

Step 1: Make Sure to Warm Up Before Playing a Sport

Use specialized warm-up techniques to prepare the body’s muscles, tendons and ligaments. Concentrate on preparing the group of muscles that are frequently used for your particular sport. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of your body! Learn your body and understand how other areas can incur an overuse injury.

Step 2: Wear Protective Gear While Practicing and Playing

Our clinic experts can help an athlete choose the right protective gear for a sport. Using items such as heel cups, arch supports, and customized shoe inserts can protect your feet from an overuse injury. Additional protective gear includes supportive and padded braces for the knees, ankles, or wrists.

Step 3: Consume a Healthier Diet to Strengthen the Body

If you aren’t consuming a nutritious diet, then you risk having weak bones and cartilage that are susceptible to damage. A nutritionist can help you plan a healthy daily diet that provides enough vitamins and minerals to keep the body in top-notch condition to avoid an overuse injury.

Step 4: Athletes Should Learn How to Move Their Bodies

In some cases, an overuse sports injury occurs because an athlete has poor body mechanics. We can help athletes learn how to move correctly while jumping, running or performing other motions. By using the body properly, you can prevent an overuse injury to a joint, muscle or bone.

Step 5: Athletes Should Listen to Their Body

It is important for our patients to listen to their bodies attentively if they participate in frequent physical activity. You know yourself the best, so it is up to you to reach out for help if it’s needed. Even if you suspect something is wrong – slight discomfort or a mild ache – it is important to protect your future athletic performance by requesting assistance from a professional.

Most overuse injuries occur several years after beginning a sport, but there are early signs of the problem long before there is serious damage.

If you are suffering from an overuse injury or suspect you have one, please come visit us for a consultation. Call 806.350.BONE (2663).