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Get Relief From Osteoarthritis | Dr Christopher Meckel, MD
Articles Get Relief From Osteoarthritis

Get Relief From Osteoarthritis

orthopedic surgeryOsteoarthritis, a condition that entails critical bone cartilage wearing away over time, is a big problem in the U.S. Without this bone cartilage, millions of Americans are vulnerable to never-ending joint pain. In fact, the vast majority of the 719,000 Americans who undergo knee joint replacement surgery have osteoarthritis. It is also a top reason to get hip joint replacement surgery (332,000 had the surgery in 2013) and orthopedic surgery.

With some dedication, Americans can counteract the effects of osteoarthritis. Here’s how:

One Of The Best Things To Do May Seem Counter-Intuitive
What is one of the last things you want to do when you’re in pain? If the answer is exercise, you’re right — but you’re also onto a possible cure (or, at the very least, significant relief from your symptoms). Americans can naturally get relief by keeping muscles strong and maintaining a healthy weight; excess weight, and especially obesity, can put additional pressure on the joints. This means more pain, and, unfortunately, it can also accelerate loss of bone cartilage. If the mere thought of exercise seems just about unbearable to you because you’re constantly in pain, start small, with low-impact exercises. “Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise for people with osteoarthritis, because the buoyancy and warm water supports and soothes achy joints,” WebMD explains. Medications, such as pain relievers and antidepressants, can help provide relief from symptoms as well.

What About Orthopedic Surgery?
In severe cases, medications and exercise do not provide enough relief from symptoms. In that case, joint replacement surgeries, such as total hip replacement surgery, becomes a valid option. Just make certain to weigh the pros and cons. While many regain mobility after surgery, it does take work — meaning that physical therapy and exercise are necessary. What’s more, for patients in their 90s, the recovery may be too gradual of a process to justify preparation for surgery.

Chronic joint pain, and particularly pain related to osteoarthritis, can be crippling. Get regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, keep muscles strong, and mitigate symptoms. If exercise and medication are not enough, surgery may help you replace joints altogether.

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