If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you know how difficult it can be. Apart from the pain, stiffness and swelling, there are also changes to your life. What seemed easy in the past has now become a difficult obstacle.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints break down. Sometimes it can also be due to bony growths which are also called bone spurs.
While it can be a difficult situation, there are things you can do at home to care for your knee and try to make things a little better and more bearable. Let’s take a look at some physiotherapy tips for an osteoarthritic knee.
1. Keep Moving
Despite the osteoarthritis, it is important to stay active and keep moving. Someone with osteoarthritis may feel that inactivity is the best thing because you place no stress on the joint and therefore, you will feel no pain. Be careful, as this is totally untrue.
It seems rather counter-intuitive but moving and mild exercise is actually better. By not moving around, the joint will become even stiffer and more painful. The supporting muscles need to be strengthened in order for you to feel an improvement and gain some strength.
In fact, this should be your aim; to strengthen and stabilize the surrounding muscles. However, these are special stretches and exercises, so you need to speak with your doctor or see a physiotherapist to show you what exercises and movements will help you. Everyone is different.
Do not attempt to do any exercises on your own as you can hurt and damage yourself even more.
2. Get Proper Sleep
It is important to get proper rest and sleep at night. Try to make it a habit to go to bed around the same time every night. Try using your pillow to take some pressure off your joint. Remember, every little bit helps.
Speak to your doctor and ask him or her about glucosamine and chondroitin supplements with MSM. Many people with arthritis and osteoarthritis take these supplements to help with their joint problems. While this can be helpful, please do speak to your doctor first, because if you are on other medications, you need to be sure that it is alright for you to take these supplements and only a doctor can tell you that.
4. Proper Nutrition
Try eating a balanced, healthy diet. While it is not going to ‘cure’ you, it can help a little. It can ease some pain and help strengthen bones, so anything positive should be attempted, as every little bit helps. Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin C should all be included in your diet, as well as fruits and veggies.
5. Get Rid Of Excess Weight
Many of us carry a few extra pounds which we don’t need. Those who have no weight issues are lucky, but if you do carry extra weight, try to get rid of it. Yes, it isn’t easy, and unless you know what you’re doing, it’s better to get some professional help and advice on how to do this. It can be done and it will put less pressure on your knee, which could also mean less pain.
Consider incorporating several methods to help with your osteoarthritis. For example, even if you lose some weight, don’t just be happy with that. Try to do knee and leg strengthening exercises. This way, many methods can bring about a huge amount of relief.