While injuries can up osteoarthritis risk, daily wear and tear also promotes joint degeneration, especially if you’re carrying extra relieve arthritis. 163 0 16 0s16 7. 813 0 0 1 .
696 0 0 0 1. 415 0 0 0 1. 748 0 0 0 2. 624 0 0 0 1. 47 0 0 0 13 6. 5 0 1 0 6. When joint cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis seriously impairs the quality of life for 27 million Americans. The best remedy—maintaining a healthy weight, and losing weight if necessary—is not the easiest. Still, every pound you pare off means 4 pounds less pressure on your knees, says Laura Robbins, senior vice president of education and academic affairs at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Some people will see their symptoms disappear if they lose 10 to 20 pounds, says Roy Altman, MD, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Physical activity is essential for people with osteoarthritis, whether it means walking around your apartment if you’re a fragile older person or swimming laps if you’re in better shape. People used to think that exercise made arthritis worse, but the opposite is true—unless you’re pounding the pavement. Runners with knee osteoarthritis should cut down on mileage, try to cross-train, and run on softer surfaces like tracks and dirt paths.
It’s not helpful in everybody. There is some evidence that suggests that glucosamine alleviates arthritis pain, but the type of glucosamine matters. There continues to be a lot of controversy about it. Almost all of the products that are sold here in the United States are glucosamine hydrochloride. There are no trials demonstrating that glucosamine hydrochloride benefits people with osteoarthritis. In the studies that did find benefit for glucosamine sulfate, Dr.
Altman says, patients took 1,500 milligrams once a day, which resulted in better absorption in the body than splitting the dose. Early research found that this supplement was promising when combined with glucosamine. However, more recent studies indicate it’s not effective. Although some studies suggest that chondroitin sulfate slows arthritis progression, it hasn’t been shown to help symptoms, says Dr. Studies that found the supplement helpful used 800 milligrams or 1,200 milligrams daily. Altman says of the supplements.
The one thing about them is there’s no major side effects. Other supplements have shown promise, but the evidence just isn’t that strong, says Dr. But such studies aren’t as reliable as those funded by groups that don’t stand to gain financially. There’s some evidence that rose hips and highly concentrated ginger could be helpful, Dr. Although fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, more research is needed.
Strong-smelling mentholated rubs and creams may make your skin tingle, but many have limited value for osteoarthritis, says Dr. However, there are some creams now available that have proven benefit, he adds. Diclofenac gel, sold in the U. It hasn’t been evaluated in osteoarthritis of the spine, hip, or shoulder. Altman is a consultant for Novartis, the maker of Voltaren Gel.
Capsaicin cream can also relieve osteoarthritis pain, and it’s available without a prescription. It’s made from the substance that gives chili peppers their heat. Electrical energy can be used to help ease pain and swelling in arthritic joints in a couple of different ways. Physical therapists often employ transcutaneous electrostimulation, or TENS, which involves placing electrodes around the affected joint and delivering electromagnetic pulses through the skin. And there’s electroacupuncture, in which the provider uses needles at acupuncture points that are attached to electrodes to pass an electric charge through the acupuncture needles.
There’s some evidence that both approaches can help provide at least short-term pain relief and also ease joint stiffness. Chiropractic therapy won’t help with osteoarthritis. But what it is useful for, says Dr. Altman, is treating the muscle spasms that often accompany the condition. For example, if you have acute lower back pain, chiropractic manipulation can break up the muscle spasm and scar tissue, easing the pain. Heat and cold treatments can also be helpful for easing these muscle spasms, which aren’t only painful, but can interfere with sleep. Most of the time you don’t need to see a physical therapist, Dr.