5 Ways to Manage Your Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Dec 01, 2022
5 Ways to Manage Your Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Is joint pain caused by osteoarthritis disrupting your life? Even though there is no ultimate cure for arthritis, you can do specific things to manage your symptoms. Read on to learn what you can do to cope with this most common form of arthritis.

When osteoarthritis begins to manifest, it can soon feel like it is taking over your life. You may feel depressed, worried, or restricted because of loss of mobility and pain. Don’t give up: With proper management, osteoarthritis doesn’t have to significantly alter your life.

At House Call Doctors of Pacific Northwest PLLC, with offices in Bellingham, Snohomish, and Everett, Washington, our team, which includes Bernadette Kimemia, DNP, ARNP, FNP-C, and Phyllis Muthee, NP, ARNP, provides chronic disease management for a number of health conditions, including osteoarthritis, and can help advise you on managing your symptoms. 

Osteoarthritis basics

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. It is both chronic, meaning that there is no cure and your symptoms persist, and degenerative, which means your symptoms can worsen over time, and new symptoms can keep appearing. 

Osteoarthritis is mainly caused by normal, daily wear-and-tear on your joints. If you get an injury or infection, damage can be worsened, but for most people osteoarthritis is a sad fact of aging, just like most other degenerative diseases.

Chronic pain is extremely common among osteoarthritis sufferers. It can ease and become worse again intermittently, often affected by such mundane or even contradictory factors such as cold or hot weather, immobility, or excessive or unusual activity outside the norm of your average day.

5 ways to manage osteoarthritis

A diagnosis of osteoarthritis can make you feel like your life is all downhill. Chronic disease, illness, and pain can contribute to depression and anxiety, and the more pain you experience, the more intense your depression can become.

However, thanks to technological advancements in the field of medicine, you can manage your condition and remain active for years to come. Chronic care management teaches you how to manage symptoms and live with your condition, focusing on quality of life.

Here are five ways to manage osteoarthritis symptoms:

1. Lose weight

If you carry even an extra 20 or 30 pounds on your frame, that can mean multiplied pressure on your spine, hips, and knees. These areas are often some of the earliest and most significantly impacted so making sure you aren’t stressing your body is key.

2. Modify activity

You definitely need to keep moving, but you need to do it in a smart way. Try walking instead of jogging, or join a water aerobics class for a low-impact workout that keeps you fit without causing additional pain or swelling. 

3. Get up and move

Even on bad pain days, staying in bed or on the couch only makes it worse. Try to get up and move a little, even if you’re only doing housework or walking slowly around the block. Keep it to small bursts and don’t overdo; just try to stay flexible.

4. Maintain body temperature

If you get too hot or too cold, your osteoarthritis pain can get worse. Try to not overheat or get chilled. Stay inside in the summer during the hottest hours, and bundle up well when going out in the winter.

5. Ask your doctor about injections

For many people, osteoarthritis pain can be diminished with an injectable treatment such as steroids, hyaluronic acid (a natural fluid produced by the body), or steroids. One of these treatments may be right for you. 

Having joint pain as you age? It could be osteoarthritis settling in. We can help. Book your walk-in appointment, house call, or virtual visit with House Call Doctors of Pacific Northwest PLLC with a phone call or by clicking the online scheduling tool now.