Arthritis isn’t a single condition but rather a collection of diseases that affect the joints. That said, osteoarthritis is the most common type, especially in the knees. A wear-and-tear degenerative condition, osteoarthritis affects nearly one in five Americans over the age of 45.
Relieving knee pain is an essential part of our work at Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport here in New York City. While pain medication often becomes necessary to manage discomfort, drugs don’t repair the damage or restore function. It’s possible to ease the load on your knees by strengthening the supporting tissue around the knee. The best news is that this effective arthritis management strategy is attainable.
There’s no secret to the process. It will take some discipline to alter your lifestyle routines, but the payoff is reduced pain and increased mobility. You can even slow the progression of osteoarthritis, delaying the need for knee replacement or other surgeries. Here are three healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt.
The pain of knee arthritis can be a barrier between you and the activities you once enjoyed. And it’s a natural reaction to avoid motion that causes pain. But retreating into a passive lifestyle to escape arthritis discomfort actually makes your symptoms worse.
Adding 30 minutes a day, five days a week of moderate activities, like walking, swimming, or cycling, can reduce knee pain. Your body is made for motion. While aiming for two hours of light, low-impact exercise won’t reverse your arthritis, it will help to engage your body’s pain management and repair systems, slowing the rate at which osteoarthritis advances.
Strength exercises that focus on the legs also provide valuable support for your knees, reducing the direct burden that otherwise falls on the knee joint. Add strength exercise twice a week, and you’ll further enhance the benefits of increased activity.
Even modest weight loss pays significant dividends when it comes to reducing the force load on your knees. Every pound you lose reduces the load on your knees by four pounds. Multiply that weight loss by 5-10 pounds, and you’ll realize a significant reduction in the force your knees face with each step.
Once you reach an exercise target of 150 minutes per week, you’ve reached a point where activity potentially supports weight loss and maintenance.
What you put into your body matters. Altering the foods you eat to include choices that lower systemic inflammation benefits your health while potentially reducing pain from arthritis in your knees. Reducing processed foods, trans fats, and sugars while adding fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids produce far-reaching health benefits and can reduce knee pain. A healthy diet also improves your chances for effective weight loss and management.
At Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport, we can assist your arthritis management program with chiropractic care, joint rehabilitation, massage, and many more therapies as you need them. Book your knee pain consultation by phone or online. Together, we can improve your arthritis. Make your appointment now.