Do your joints hurt? Our aging population's most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease. It typically affects weight-bearing joints, especially the hips and knees.
As the cartilage cushioning the affected joint breaks down, the bones will rub together, causing pain, swelling and loss of motion. Sufferers usually limit their movement to minimize discomfort.
Two things you can do to help reduce the pain… Exercise and lose weight.
Yes, dieting and exercise take time and effort, but they can make a difference. Weight loss relieves stress on the affected joint, often making it feel more comfortable.
Anti-inflammatory medications can help as well as physical therapy.
There are medications that can be injected into the joint to provide relief, even if just temporarily.
Joint replacement is the gold standard for those with serious cases of OA in the hips and knees. Bits of bone and cartilage are replaced with man-made materials to restore smooth surfaces for joint motion. The techniques and materials for replacing joints have improved significantly over the past few decades, giving those with OA a new start.
From the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell, and this is the President's Prescription.
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