HealthNotes

HealthNotes

Healthnotes offers comprehensive, science-based health and lifestyle information. Written with you in mind, Healthnotes answers the most commonly asked questions with credible, easy-to-understand information — edited by physicians who review over 550 scientific and medical journals to keep content current, factual, and balanced.

Osteoarthritis

Also indexed as:Degenerative Arthritis, Degenerative Joint Disease, OA, Arthritis (Osteo)
Protect your joints and relieve osteoarthritis aches and pains. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.

To help keep you in top health, our experts recommend these steps:

  • Avoid extra weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the most important things you can do to minimize osteoarthritis risk. Making sensible, sustainable diet changes you can live with, even if these just result in a small weight loss, will put you on the path to better joint health. Select Eating Right, above, for more information.
  • Support your joints. Some dietary supplements, such as a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, supply the materials your body needs to build new, healthy joint tissue. This may help keep joints healthy before osteoarthritis sets in or becomes severe. Select Vitamins, above, for more information.
  • Use medications wisely. If you are taking over-the-counter drugs as needed for pain rather than on a regular schedule, remember that pain medications work best if they are used at the first signs of pain. Select Medicines, above, for more drug-nutrient interactions and other safety information.
  • Mobilize your motivation. Moderate, regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, is important for maintaining joint health. Consider a tool, such as a pedometer, to help you get more steps into everyday. Select personal care for more ideas on tools for a healthier life.

Our experts recommend the following top tips to help soothe your joints:

  • Assess allergies. Some food allergies and sensitivities worsen arthritis symptoms. If other therapies are unsuccessful in relieving symptoms, talk to your doctor about identifying and eliminating possible food allergies. Select Eating Right, above, for more information.
  • Spice it up. Ginger, taken orally, and cayenne pepper, applied topically over the joint area, both have been shown to relieve osteoarthritis pain for some people. To learn more about these and other supplement options, select Vitamins, above.
  • Master your medications. If you use medications to manage osteoarthritis pain, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for a complete explanation of how and when to take them, and whether they are safe used in conjunction with other over-the-counter and prescription medications. Medicines, above, will give you an introduction to medications commonly used to manage osteoarthritis pain.
  • Use tools of the trade. Finding the right tools to manage your condition is important. A pedometer can be a useful way to motivate yourself to walk more, and if needed, canes and other mobility aids can significantly increase your ability to get around with less pain. Select Personal Care, above, for more ideas on tools for a healthier life.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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