Don’t let arthritis stop you living life to the full
As you start to feel the aches and pains of getting older, you don’t want it to curb your enthusiasm for life. You can experience a whole range of little niggles and discomforts, many of which are simply a part of getting older. However, there are times when your pain is caused by a more serious issue that you shouldn’t ignore. Arthritis is one of the most common problems experienced by people over 40, although it can affect people of all ages. More than 10 million people in the UK have a form of arthritis or a similar condition. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with osteoarthritis affecting more than 9 million people, according to the NHS. It’s also more common for women than for men.
Arthritis in the Knees
People of all ages can experience knee problems. Runners and other athletes often experience knee issues, but anyone can find that their knees start to suffer as they get older. Arthritis commonly affects the knees, along with other joints such as the hands, spine and hips. It can leave your knees feeling tender, stiff, warm, inflamed or weak. When your knees are giving you trouble, moving around as you usually do and even standing still can become a struggle. If you’re someone who likes to live an active lifestyle, arthritis in your knees may feel like it’s holding you back.
Managing Pain from Arthritis
Chronic pain may be challenging to manage. If you don’t want to take painkillers all the time, you need other ways to keep your pain under control. Dealing with pain in your knees helps you to keep moving so that life doesn’t have to come to a halt because of your arthritis. However, it’s best to save the use of painkillers for when you really need them. Fortunately, there are more natural ways to manage your pain on a day-to-day basis so that you’re not reliant on pills and other medications to get you up and about.
Applying heat or cold to your knee is one way to reduce pain and stiffness. Some people choose to use heat lamps, or you might use an ice pack to soothe your joints. Just remember not to apply heat or cold directly to your skin to avoid injury.
Knee braces and supports are another potential solution for your arthritis knee pain. A knee support for arthritis helps to lend strength to the joint and assists it in moving correctly. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends knee supports as an add-on treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Living an Active Life
A recent survey of Telegraph readers by Arthritis Research UK revealed that 76% of respondents feel that pain prevents them from living life to the full. But arthritis doesn’t have to stop you being active and living your life the way that you want to. You should be able to get outdoors and enjoy a walk, do some gardening or perhaps go for a swim without knee pain getting in your way. When you find the right methods to manage your pain, you can prevent arthritis pain ruling your life.
Low-impact activities are excellent if you have problems with your joints. High-impact activities include things like running, which can put a lot of stress on your knees. However, activities such as swimming, walking and cycling are easier on your joints, helping to protect them, reduce pain and increase range of motion. Versus Arthritis recommends some exercises that you can do to manage osteoarthritis pain in your knees, such as step-ups, knee squats and leg stretches.
Remaining active is important if you have osteoarthritis in your knee, so make sure you keep moving. It will help you maintain strength, stay a healthy weight, improve range of movement and boost your energy levels.
Life doesn’t have to stop when you have arthritis of the knee. You can continue to be active, stay social and avoid missing out on time with your family or anything else.