Suggested Treatment Plan
The aims of osteoarthritis management are to reduce pain, optimise mobility and flexibility and to avoid or minimise joint deformity. Our general recommendations are:
- Consult a physician for evaluation and assessment of your arthritic condition.
- It is well-documented that weight reduction significantly reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Weight loss is encouraged if obesity has already caused stress to weight-bearing joints such as the hips and in particular, the knees.
- Eat a joint-healthy diet containing fresh fruit; raw or lightly cooked vegetables; whole grain breads and cereal; fish and chicken. Drink plenty of water especially when taking medication.
- Exercise a little but often to strengthen joint-supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments. Stretch regularly for flexibility. Learn relaxation techniques. Water exercise and swimming, especially in warm water, allows arthritic joints to work without impact loading and pain. If necessary consult a physiotherapist to design an exercise programme tailored for your needs. This will help preserve the function of the joints and protect them from further damage.
- Take precautions to prevent injury. If the joints are inflamed rest them. If a joint is injured rest, treat and recover before resuming vigorous exercise. Always warm up before exercise, stretch when warm and take time to cool down.
- Counteract stress to damaged joints with the use of aids such as walking sticks, neck collar, splints, brace, bath and shower grab bars. Physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists can provide appropriate advice.
- Use the support and information provided by the Arthritis Foundation, read the recommended books and consult the websites listed on the Biocel Australia Web page to gain a better understanding of osteoarthritis.