The National institute for Health and Care and Excellence (NICE) recommends undertaking exercise as core treatment to ease the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. These may include resistance training, aerobic exercise and local muscle strengthening. If you suffer from Osteoarthritis, always speak to your doctor or a qualified exercise professional before undertaking exercise.
Evidence shows that patient education and lifestyle modification are key to successfully manage Osteoarthritis. Lifestyle modification may include weight loss (Weight-to-Go_Kingston Weight Loss Service Flyer), exercise, footwear advice and the use of orthotic devises, such as night splints, shoe insoles and knee braces. The application of heat or cold packs to the affected areas may also help to relieve pain.
If needed, the associated joint pain can be managed with pain killers and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Initially your doctor might recommend the use of paracetamol and in more severe cases the use of steroid injections might become necessary. Click here to read more about medications for the management of Osteoarthritis.
At a later stage surgery may be suggested to decrease symptoms. This may include replacing the affected joint. It is worth remembering that Osteoarthritis does not always get worse with increasing age, and symptoms can improve.
Better Bones is currently developing an exercise programme for those who have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Expected launch date is Spring 2015. In the meantime please have a look at the information booklet that has been prepared by Arthritis Care on Exercise and Arthritis.