Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the hips and the knees due to the amount of wear and tear that occurs over a lifetime. When the smooth cartilage that covers the end of each bone begins to break down, the bones in your knees and hips can rub together and create a great deal of pain and swelling.
Having arthritis pain in your hips and knees can keep you from doing the things you want to do. Try these tips to help get you back on your feet!
Many people think that exercise could make joint pain worse, but in reality, it’s just the opposite! Even light to moderate exercise can help relieve joint pain since a lack of exercise and activity actually makes joints stiffer.
- Range-of-Motion Exercises: Stretching and slow movement exercises such as yoga are fantastic for your joints. By stretching and contorting your body in ways that elongate joints, you’re relieving pressure and reducing stiffness.
- Strengthening Exercises: Muscles help to support and protect joints. When you build up the muscles around the joints, you’re taking a great deal of pressure off of the joints themselves. While strength training is a good idea, be sure to work your way up to it and be sure to have rest days in between your workouts.
- Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises: Aerobic exercises help to keep you fit, maintain a healthy weight, and improve your overall fitness. By losing weight and maintaining a healthy size, less pressure is put on your hips and knees when walking and even standing. Some great examples of low impact aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, and running on an elliptical machine.
Soak in Warm Water
Even though it sounds simple, soaking your hips and knees in warm water is an extremely effective form of arthritis relief. The warmth decreases swelling and inflammation and the water helps support the joints with 360-degree support. It’s not just a short-term fix, the relief felt from warm water therapy lasts even a few hours after immersion.
Braces and Support Devices
Especially for the knees, braces can provide much-needed relief. As explained before, muscles help to support joints, and braces work in just the same way. The supporting device will help keep bones and joints in place and strengthen its structure.
For those who have severe osteoarthritis and can’t find relief, joint replacement surgery is often the solution that is needed to relieve chronic pain. To discuss your options, contact The Orthopaedic Center at (256) 539-2728.