If an individual has arthritis in one or both knees, there are measures that can help manage the symptoms. Arthritis can make daily activities painful and can trigger stiffness which makes it hard to perform daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs or getting out of a chair.
There are various forms of arthritis and each individual is affected in a different way. It simply means that a combination of techniques are tried to suit the condition of the individual. Nevertheless, there are certain things that can be done to stay active even with knee arthritis.
Cut down weight
The individual should reduce weight whether the individual is overweight or carries a few extra pounds. Remember that the less an individual weighs, the less strain is placed on the knee joint.
Remember that simple weight loss can minimize stress on the weight-bearing joints such as the knee. Cutting down on weight can result to diminished pain and increased function especially while walking. In addition, even losing 15 pounds can reduce the knee pain in half. Cardiovascular exercise is the ideal way to help cut down extra pounds. This includes activities such as swimming, walking, biking and dancing. The individual should perform at least 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 3-5 days in a week to achieve effective weight loss.
Exercise is a vital component in managing knee arthritis. Flexibility and stretching exercise can keep the knee joint lose as well as minimize the stiffness. Engaging in strength training exercises on the lower body can make the leg and hip muscles stronger which relieves pressure off the knee joint.
Always remember that strong muscles support and protect the joints. If exercising on land is painful, water exercises are recommended. A suitable workout is one that does not add pressure on the knees. For those who have rheumatoid arthritis, it is best to skip exercise on days where flare-ups occur.
Assistive devices and supports
A crutch, cane or brace can also help with knee arthritis. If the individual has knee arthritis in one knee, a cane or crutch can be used in the opposite hand. Utilizing the cane in the same hand as the affected knee will make the individual lean on the affective side heavily. Placing the cane in the opposite hand and leaning away from the sore knee will make walking comfortable. Additionally, a doctor should be consulted to determine the suitable brace to be used. Remember that a brace can keep the knee in proper alignment to minimize the symptoms.
A doctor should be consulted so that proper medications can be given. There are different medications that can help manage knee arthritis. Lifestyle changes are still required though.
The right medication depends on the type of arthritis experienced by the individual, other medical conditions and the type of symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications, pain-relieving drugs, steroids and muscle relaxants are given by the doctors. Aside from medications, the use of warm and cold therapy can be beneficial.
Cases of knee arthritis that triggers severe symptoms or drastically affects daily activities, surgery might be required to minimize the symptoms.