How to Manage Arthritis

Arthritis refers to over 100 conditions that affect the joints, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling. If left untreated, arthritis can cause joint damage and disability. People living with arthritis often experience a decreased quality of life, as they are limited in participating in activities they enjoy. As such, it is vital to work with a Portland arthritis specialist to find ways to manage the condition and minimize its effect. There are many ways to manage arthritis, and we look at some of them in this article.

  • Physical Therapy

One of the most common ways to manage arthritis is through physical therapy. Physical therapy can help improve joint mobility, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve strength and function. Physical therapists often use a combination of therapies such as heat/ice, massage, and exercise to help people with arthritis feel better. Physical therapy is the preferred option for many patients because you can do it in the comfort of one’s home.

  • Medication

While medication should not be used as the first option to manage arthritis, many people still rely on it. Medications can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve sleep quality, increase physical function, and maintain muscle strength. Doctors will often recommend medications that are specific to each patient’s condition.

  • Joint Repair

For some people, joint repair surgery can help manage arthritis. Joint repair surgery removes the damaged portion of the joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. This replacement allows patients to manage their arthritis pain and improve their mobility. On the downside, joint repair surgery can be expensive and is not always successful.

  • Lifestyle Changes

Making a few lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, losing weight if needed, and avoiding activities that may aggravate the condition can also help people manage arthritis. It is also essential to stay active, which can help improve joint function and reduce pain.

  • Joint Replacement

In some cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary to manage arthritis. Joint replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial joint which can help improve mobility and reduce pain. However, joint replacement surgery is a significant procedure and is not always successful. It carries risks such as infection, injury to surrounding organs, and the artificial joint becoming loose or dislocated.

  • Arthrodesis

Another surgery that may be used to manage arthritis is arthrodesis. Arthrodesis is a surgery that fuses the bones in a joint together. This procedure can help reduce pain and improve mobility. However, this surgery comes with risks, such as infection, nerve damage, and blood clots.

  • Nutrition

People with arthritis often have joint pain, inflammation, and difficulty moving. Eating certain foods can help reduce these symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage arthritis pain. Ginger contains gingerol, which is known to be useful in reducing inflammation. Turmeric is another spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to food or taken as a supplement. Finally, cherries are a good source of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.

To summarize, arthritis is a group of conditions that affect the joints, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling. You can manage arthritis through nutrition, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Surgical procedures such as arthrodesis, joint repair, and joint replacement can also help manage arthritis.

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