Table of Contents
- 1 Managing Osteoarthritis is possible!
- 2 The role of body health in managing osteoarthritis
- 3 Assistive devices and customised equipment
- 4 Other home treatments and therapy
Managing Osteoarthritis is possible!
Managing Osteoarthritis requires a lot of commitment. However, some of the treatment methods of osteoarthritis in hospitals are very expensive. There are a lot of effective ways of managing osteoarthritis at home which allow patients to continue doing the normal activities with less stress and pain. Even though home treatments and remedies can help, it will require total commitment and change of one’s lifestyle.
The role of body health in managing osteoarthritis
Maintaining a healthy weight
One of the predisposing factors of osteoarthritis is unhealthy weight gain. Excessive weight increases the pressure on the joints, especially the joints of the limbs. Weight loss is recommended because reducing weight will lessen the pressure on the joints.
The reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue helps to relieve a lot of pain. Additionally, exercise and diet play a vital role in weight loss and relieve the joints off the pain. You can find some healthy ways to lose weight here.
Participating in regular physical exercise
Undertaking exercise activities routinely will be very important in managing osteoarthritis. Some of the home activities that are a good exercise for the joints includes swimming, jogging, riding bikes and other physical fitness practices. The exercise will improve the joint health and alleviate some pain. However excess training can result to increase in pain thus less intense exercise is preferred.
Assistive devices and customised equipment
Assistive devices are products and tools make life with Osteoarthritis easier. The pain from the movement of the joint is the nightmare of osteoarthritis. Managing osteoarthritis is effective when patient reduces the range of movements of the joint. There are devices that a patient can utilize to help minimize pain in the joints. The devices and tools also contribute to keeping the patient comfortable thus can undertake the normal home activity efficiently.
For movement using walkers, canes, splints and orthotics shoes comes in handy. This device helps in reducing the weight exerted on the joint for example legs joints while walking and this, in turn, reduces the pain that a person feels when undertaking different activities.
For the people with osteoarthritis of the fingers, having objects that have large handle will reduce straining of having a grip on the objects. This will be vital for essential tools such as toothbrushes, spoons, knives, among other instruments.
There are other tools purposely created for different work and come in handy for managing osteoarthritis patients. The assistance devices are available, and undertaking activities will never be the same when one has these devices. For example, button hook device.
Additionally, restructuring one house should make it more comfortable for the patients. For example, having a bench in the shower, the patients living in the ground floor to avoid stairs and rotating chairs all increase the comfortability and managing osteoarthritis at home.
When managing osteoarthritis, you need aids to help you get around:
- A cane or crutch used on the opposite side of a painful knee or hip makes walking easier.
- Orthotics help ease painful feet. They are inserts (either ready-made, or custom-fit by a podiatrist) worn in the shoe. Other options include padded insoles or a pair of comfortable orthopedic shoes.
- Braces and splints support joints and lower strain.
- Reachers are long rods with a grip handle on one end and pincers (like a claw, used to grab) on the other. They let you pick up small objects without having to bend over or reach uncomfortably.
- Taller chair legs make it easier to get in and out of your seat. The chairs you have can usually be fitted with extenders.
You can also start managing osteoarthritis in the kitchen by using these Assistive Devices:
There are Arthritis-friendly utensils with fat foam handles available which can make cooking normal for the patients. The following are effective ideas that can help around the kitchen:
- Buy pots and pans with handles on both sides. They’re easier to carry.
- Give your fingers and hands a break and use an electric jar opener and electric can opener when you prepare foods.
- Rearrange your kitchen so that the things you use most often are the easiest to reach.
- Replace small switches and doorknobs with large, easy-to-grip knobs, or levers that you don’t need to turn.
Don’t forget the bedroom
Making it easier for patients in the bedroom is a lot of easier if the following changes can be made:
- Switch to big buttons, button hooks, or Velcro closures. Buttons the size of a nickel or larger are easier to use. Closures in the front are better, especially for bras and dresses.
- Use lamps that turn on and off by touch or by your voice. And replace small, hard-to-turn switches on lamps with larger grip-and-turn knobs.
- Find sock aids and zipper pulls. A sock aid can help you pull up your socks without bending your legs. A zipper pull, which has a large rung that attaches to a zipper tag, makes zippers easier to grab and zip.
Or the bathroom!
The following adjustments can go a long way in making sure that a patient functions normally:
- A tub bench or shower seat lets you sit down while you get clean.
- Non-skid shower mats make the tub safer.
- Grab bars make it easier to get in and out of the bath.
- A raised toilet seat with side rails makes it easier to get on and off.
- Long-handled sponges help you wash your legs and feet without bending. Also, large sponges are easier to grip than washcloths.
- Easy-to-pull shower curtains are better than heavy shower doors.
- An electric toothbrush with a fat handle is easier than a regular toothbrush.
- Put a seat in front of your sink so you can avoid leaning forward. Do the same with using a freestanding mirror for grooming.
Other home treatments and therapy
- Cold and hot water therapy- both cold and hot water is useful in relieving pain. Using warm water reduces joint stiffness cold water therapy enhance muscle function which in turn reduces pain.
- Application of herbal creams that have some medicinal value. For example, the topical capsaicin when applied continuously on the joints helps in relieving pain. It is an alternative to NSAIDS drugs.
- There are a lot of other natural remedies such as green tea (anti-inflammatory), ginger (pain inhibitor) and turmeric or curcumin (anti-inflammatory agent that relieves pain and stiffness)
- A patient can also adopt other lifestyle changes such as staying active and eating Osteoarthritis-friendly food