So the doctor has told you that you have osteoarthritis of the knee. You know that that’s the reason why you can barely even walk to the mailbox to get the mail every day. So, what should you do to try to thwart any further arthritis damage to your knee?
Let’s talk about some simple at-home tips that can help to prevent your knee osteoarthritis from getting worse, and where you can seek help in the Raleigh, North Carolina area for relief from your knee pain.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis of the knee is caused by the wear-and-tear you place on your knee joints as you move and walk. The knees carry most of the weight of your body, so the pressure exerted on the knee is significant.
The problem in osteoarthritis is that the protective cartilage in the joint has worn down, so the bones don’t have the soft cushion to prevent them from jarring and grinding against one another. This results in pain caused by the inflammation.
How Can I Stop the Progression of My Knee Osteoarthritis?
You can do a few simple interventions at home to help prevent your knee osteoarthritis symptoms from getting worse, including the following:
- Exercise and stay active. No-impact activities like swimming and low-impact exercises like walking help the muscles which support the knee to stay strong and take pressure off of the joint. If you are having unbearable knee pain, discuss exercise with your orthopedic doctor.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Foods that are rich in vitamin C may help ease osteoarthritis symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and fish oil, may help to relieve your knee pain. You can get all the nutrients you need by focusing on a balanced diet. Avoiding gluten in your diet has helped many patients as well.
- Maintain an ideal weight for your frame. Having too much weight on your body puts undue pressure on your knee. If you are overweight, losing weight can help to take some of the pressure off of the knee joints and decrease your pain.
- Get a good night’s rest. When you are tired, your tolerance of pain naturally decreases. If you are having trouble sleeping due to knee pain from osteoarthritis, use pillows to support the knee and get comfortable.
- Use ice and heat therapy on the painful knee. Increasing blood flow to the knee can help to relieve joint and muscle pain, and you can put a warm pack or a heating pad on the knee for relief (make sure it’s not too hot). You can then apply an ice pack to relieve swelling (again, make sure it’s not too cold). You may want to alternate between heat and ice, or test which one helps you the most.
- Take the medications your doctor recommended or prescribed for your osteoarthritis. Some over-the-counter medicines that help to relieve pain are acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin or St. Joseph), ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), or naproxen sodium (Aleve). These medications can have side effects, so let your orthopedic surgeon know if you have any stomach upset or other side effects.
- Talk with your orthopedic doctor about supplements and alternative therapies that could help ease your knee pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin may benefit some patients who have arthritis.
- Stay positive and seek support. Your mental outlook has a significant impact on how you physically function and feel. Everyone needs to have a support network, so be sure to stay in close contact with friends, family, neighbors, and people at your house of worship.
Knee Osteoarthritis Relief in Raleigh, Apex, and Brier Creek, NC
If you’re looking to finally achieve relief from your knee pain, Dr. Brett Gilbert is here to evaluate your knee and administer treatment that will work well for you. Dr. Gilbert is board-certified in orthopedic surgery, and he completed fellowship training in hip and knee replacement surgery. He performs minimally invasive joint replacement surgery for the knee and hip, and he offers a variety of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for osteoarthritis.
Call our friendly staff today at (919) 788-8797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilbert, or fill out our online request form. We look forward to helping you enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle!