How to stay active with knee osteoarthritis
Our body is constantly repairing the daily wear and tear on our joints; however, osteoarthritis develops when the body can’t maintain this repair process. Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis affecting 50% of people aged 65. Whilst most experience relatively mild symptoms, for one in ten knee pain and joint stiffness become debilitating. The first change is usually cartilage damage, which increases over time, eventually causing the underlying bony surface to become exposed with growths on the edges of the joint, visible by x-ray. Symptoms are often worse on waking up in the morning, after over-activity, as well as sitting or standing for a prolonged period of time. As the tissues around the joints become inflamed and painful, the simplest of actions like climbing stairs or bending to tie a shoe-lace can suddenly seem very difficult. Naturally, this has a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life.
Various elements can predispose a person to developing osteoarthritis and increase the rate of degeneration after the initial onset. Nevertheless, in almost all cases staying active is critically important and can even slow the rate of degeneration. Here are five quick tips on staying active with osteoarthritis.
2. Exercise regularly and keep your muscles strong
Doctors believe that a precursor to the onset of osteoarthritis symptoms is a weakness in the quadriceps. Strength training can be valuable, together with exercise or physiotherapy that enables you to work on a specific muscle area. Controlled exercise can keep the body strong, whilst helping symptom relief like pain and joint stiffness by ensuring the affected joint stays active. In particular exercises like swimming, walking and cycling are recommended.
3. Avoid causing damage to joints
For people who already suffer from osteoarthritis, activity is often associated with pain, or the risk of further damage to the joints. The trick is to avoid excessive exercise which can lead to injury or overuse. This also extends to lifting heavy things or activities which require repeated joint strain for long periods. Equally when trying to move heavy objects, an excellent tip is to remember to always push rather than pull them where possible, to avoid the type of movement that can cause damage to the joints.
4. Continue with your hobbies
5. Find the right balance for you
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