Tips for living with osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition that causes painful and swollen joints.
Because it can’t be cured, it’s useful to look at ways of living with it.
We take you through our tips for living with osteoarthritis and find ways to relieve the discomfort of this condition.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage in your joints breaks down. When it wears away to the extent that the surface of the bone underneath is exposed, it can produce symptoms including pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of flexibility.
It most commonly affects joints in your hips, knees, spine and hands.
You are more at risk of osteoarthritis if you are older, female, overweight, have had previous joint injuries, were born with bone deformities or are living with certain metabolic diseases including diabetes.
Top tips for managing osteoarthritis
If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, don’t despair. Living with osteoarthritis successfully can be achieved by applying a few simple lifestyle tips:
- Stay active — gentle exercise of your affected joints can help ease the discomfort of osteoarthritis. And any exercise program will help enhance your overall fitness and well-being.
- Maintain a healthy weight — if you’re overweight, your joints will suffer all the more. Follow a healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fibre, fish and lean meat (or meat substitutes), and avoid sugary and fatty foods.
- Ask your doctor about medication to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
- Investigate non-invasive therapies such as massage, hydrotherapy and osteopathy to relieve your symptoms.
Can osteopathy help osteoarthritis?
Osteopathy, which focuses on gently treating the musculoskeletal system for relief from painful or uncomfortable conditions, can most certainly help with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis osteopathy draws on a range of treatments to ease the symptoms of this debilitating condition.
For example, your osteopath may offer shockwave therapy, which uses acoustic waves to reduce levels of pain and inflammation and restore mobility. This tried-and-tested therapy (1) is considered one of the most effective osteopathy treatments for osteoarthritis.
Your osteopath may also offer other treatments including therapeutic exercises (2) to help you improve your mobility, or manual osteopathy (3) applied to the joints for pain relief and improved function.
Take ownership of your condition!
Living with osteoarthritis is all about taking ownership of your condition and adjusting your lifestyle to make those day-to-day tasks a whole lot easier.
If you need a helping hand with your osteoarthritis symptoms, why not give our expert team at Osteo Health a call? You can reach us at 403-814-0404 or book an appointment online at osteohealthcalgary.janeapp.com.
Let us help you to live better with osteoarthritis by using gentle, effective and proven osteopathy therapies tailored to your unique needs.
Approved by Indira Ravaeva. Manual Osteopath. Member of National Manual Osteopathic Society and Osteopathy Australia.
1. Hsieh C, Chang C, Liu Z, Tai T. ‘Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis,’ International Orthopaedics, 2020 May;44(5):877-884. doi: 10.1007/s00264-020-04489-x. Epub 2020 Jan 28.
2. Fernandes L, Storheim K, Nordsletten L, Risberg M. ‘Development of a therapeutic exercise program for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip,’ Physical Therapy, 2010 Apr;90(4):592-601. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090083. Epub 2010 Feb 25.
3. Abbott J, Chapple C, Fitzgerald G, Fritz J, Childs J, Harcombe H, Stout K. ‘The Incremental Effects of Manual Therapy or Booster Sessions in Addition to Exercise Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial,’ The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2015 Dec;45(12):975-83. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2015.6015. Epub 2015 Sep 28.
Also used in research but not referenced in the article:
Mayo Clinic website, ‘Osteoarthritis,’ June 16, 2021.