Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that can lead to joint problems and, eventually, the need for a joint replacement. While there is no cure for this disease, everyone can take steps to lessen symptoms and slow its progression.
“One important way to manage osteoarthritis is to exercise,” says R. August Ritter III, MD, orthopedic surgeon who practices at Saint Francis Healthcare System. “In particular, weight-bearing exercises can help you build up the strength you need to combat joint pain. Swimming and water aerobics classes also can be particularly helpful for aching joints.”
Learning stretching exercises and undergoing physical and occupational therapy can help increase range of motion and learn how to properly use the body’s joints. Additionally, medications can help reduce inflammation.
When more conservative treatments fail, partial or total joint replacement can be another option to treat osteoarthritis.
To learn more about how to treat osteoarthritis, talk to your primary care physician.