Are you one of the 54 million Americans struggling with the persistent pain of arthritis? Are you hoping to ease this discomfort at home, without the need for invasive procedures or surgery?
The board-certified orthopedic providers at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare in Encinitas, San Diego, and Temecula, California, not only understand the debilitating impact arthritis can have, but we’re also here to help you navigate life with this progressive condition.
First, it’s important to understand that arthritis isn’t a single disease—it’s an informal term that refers to many types of joint pain or joint disease. Common arthritis symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion
Fortunately, you can implement various strategies at home to ease arthritis pain and improve your quality of life. Here’s a closer look at our top five recommendations:
1. Use a warm compress
Warm compresses can provide immense relief from arthritis pain. The heat helps increase blood flow, relaxes your muscles, and reduces joint stiffness.
For example, starting your day with a warm bath or shower can help alleviate the stiffness in your joints in the morning. Additionally, using heating pads on affected areas during episodes of intense pain can also provide temporary relief.
2. Engage in gentle exercises and stretches
Incorporating gentle exercises and stretches into your daily routine can significantly improve your flexibility and reduce pain.
For example, performing gentle knee bends or wrist stretches can be incredibly beneficial in keeping your joints flexible and strong.
You may also begin practices like yoga or Pilates. These types of exercises are low-impact and help maintain joint function and range of motion.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying extra weight can put additional pressure on your joints, especially those in your lower body. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce stress on joints and subsequently alleviate pain.
Engage in healthy eating habits and incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle to promote weight loss and joint health. If you’ve tried to lose weight and haven’t been successful, talk to your primary care provider for guidance.
4. Apply topical pain relievers
Topical pain relievers can be effective for arthritis pain. Available in creams, patches, or rubs, they can be applied directly to the painful joints.
Ingredients might include menthol, camphor, a NSAID like diclofenac, or a salicylate like trolamine salicylate. It may just surprise you with how much better your joints feel!
Be sure to consult with your provider before starting any new treatment to ensure it's right for you. And make sure to read directions carefully to avoid taking or using too much of any medication.
5. Use assistive devices
Are you struggling to get around? Consider using assistive devices designed to ease pressure on your joints.
Products like braces, shoe inserts, or canes can provide support and relieve stress on your lower body joints.
For example, wearing a knee brace can offer stability and reduce pain, making it easier for you to move confidently and comfortably.
Talk to your orthopedic provider for personalized help
If you find these at-home practices aren’t enough to ease your arthritis pain, it’s important to talk to your provider at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare. Our orthopedic practitioners specialize in helping patients like you navigate your condition, offering tailored advice and personalized treatment recommendations.
Based on your unique health history, current symptoms, a physical exam, and the results of any imaging studies, our provider may recommend a range of therapies, including:
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Occupational therapy
- Regenerative medicine treatments (e.g., platelet-rich plasma [PRP] therapy)
When the damage caused by arthritis is extensive, surgical options may be explored. For example, arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure, is often used to diagnose and treat joint issues.
In situations in which the joint is severely damaged, joint replacement surgery might be the best course of action. In this procedure, the damaged or diseased joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis.
If you’re seeking relief from arthritis pain, don’t wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare SoCal location nearest you.