A majority of the people believe that joint replacement surgery is the dead end way to address osteoarthritis— a type of arthritis caused due to breakdown of cartilage which leads to joint pains, which can necessitate surgery when symptoms become unbearable. But that’s not always the case. While there are some instances when a replacement surgery may be unavoidable—for example, genetics, rheumatoid arthritis, or trauma, such as a hip fracture. There are quite a number of healthy ways one can adopt to avoid a knee or hip replacement. Let’s explore them.
- Maintain healthy weight:
The pressure on joints depends on your body weight and everyday activities and being obese can put you on a higher risk of arthritis because the force you exert on your joints can be up to six times your weight. So, shedding pounds can drastically reduce the pressure on joints especially your knee joints.In order to reduce weight do not jump into a radical diet plan. Work with your dietitian to reduce calories intake but also ensure you are getting the baseline of what your body requires to build muscle and keep up your energy levels. A typical guideline is 130 grams per day of carbohydrates for both men and women, and 56 grams of protein per day for men, 46 grams of protein per day for women.
- Get regular exercise:
Regular exercise is essential for joint and bone health, muscle strength and body balance, as well as a host of other factors like good sleep, weight loss, mental health, and so forth. Cardio exercise like cycling, water aerobics, swimming, walking, and machines like the elliptical are advised to strengthen the muscles around the joints.Exercise will strengthen the muscles around your hips and back (also known as “core”). When your core is strong, it keeps your hips more supported and better aligned. The same is with the knee joints. The quadriceps of the thigh and the hamstrings in the back are essential for knee strengthening. Every time you walk or run or do any weight-bearing exercise, the quads absorb the shock and the stronger your quads are, the less load that gets transferred on joints,If you have joint pains, remember to go slow and pace your activities based on comfort. Try yoga, tai chi or pilates, these activities are slow, and focuses on strength-building and balance.After your workout if you experience any inflammation and swelling, immediately apply ice to ease the symptoms.
- Guard against injuries:
Injuries are the major risk factor for arthritis. If you suffer an injury to your knee, there are higher chances of tearing of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) that increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis.A weekend warrior who goes out to plays is more likely to be injured than someone who does it regularly. Therefore it is always advised to wear shoes and other safety equipment before sporting. Though it’s impossible to avoid all injuries, you can protect yourself by warming up and stretching before you exercise.Although there is no silver bullet for joint pains, gaining yourself time with ongoing maintenance, and a healthy lifestyle is a real thing. In addition to physical therapy, weight loss and exercise, there are other things you can do, that include:
- Medication—Over-the-counter medications NSAIDs can help reduce pain and inflammation. Although these medicines not a long-term fix nor are preventative, they help you feel better while you plot out a permanent solution.
- Nutrition— Food is the essential medicine. Eating foods rich in vitamins that naturally reduce inflammation and swelling, boost healing, as well as repair bones and tissues to improve joint health, can be both preventative.
For example, Vitamin C repairs tissue and build collagen—both the building blocks of healing your joint.
- Take Care of Yourself—When compounded, a bunch of small things can work together to make your joints healthy. Pay attention to small aches and pains, seeking medical help even if a joint injury seems to have “gone away”.
The more you put into you, the more in tune you will be to your joint health! But if the you are experiencing persistent pain in joints then don’t ignore the pain and consult an orthopedician at the earliest.