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According to the Canadian Arthritis Society, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting one in six Canadians (nearly five million people). Moreover, the number of people living with OA keeps increasing. By 2035, experts estimate that one in four Canadians will have OA.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, it is possible to manage osteoarthritis pain better by incorporating a few strategies into your daily routine.
When your joints hurt, you may be inclined to cut back on your activity. While it may sound counterintuitive, it is exactly the opposite you should do.
Regular physical activity helps strengthen muscles and increase flexibility, which in turn helps you stay active. It is important to choose a physical activity with as little impact as possible on the painful joint. You should also adopt the intensity of the activity to your physical ability.
Walking, Pilates, Tai Chi, swimming, and mild intensity strength training are just some of the activities that are good for the muscles that support your joints—and for your overall health.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis in your hips, spine, knees, or feet, excess weight can worsen your pain by overloading your joints. Losing weight can help relieve stress on those joints.
When going about your day-to-day tasks, it is important to respect your pain and fatigue threshold. Spread your tasks over different times of the day or week, and plan moments of rest. Ask others for help, when possible.
Lastly, relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques can help rid your mind of negative thoughts and have a positive impact on pain management. Acupuncture may also be beneficial.
If you have questions about osteoarthritis or how it is treated, talk to your pharmacist. They can provide expert advice and help you enjoy a better quality of life.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.