Habits That Can Make Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Worse
Why Do You Have Osteoarthritis Knee Pain?
Osteoarthritis is a progressive joint disease. Over time, the cartilage in a joint, very often (although not always) the knee, deteriorates, and that’s a problem because the cartilage cushions the bones that come together in the knee and allows it to bend as it should, easily and without pain As you can imagine, if the cartilage has worn away completely, you’re likely experience to suffer considerable bone on bone knee pain as the two bones rub together. But in fact, difficulties may well arise before you reach this late stage of the illness. A degree of pain, stiffness, bone spurs, and osteoarthritis knee swelling are likely even before a doctor would diagnose you as suffering from severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
It’s not entirely up to you whether you develop osteoarthritis to severe the condition is. You’re stuck with whatever genetic predisposition you were born with. You may have one of certain occupations, notably those than involve a lot of standing, bending or heavy lifting, that are hard on your knees. You may have suffered an injury in the past that made osteoarthritis more likely, and on top of all that, there’s simply a natural tendency for everyone’s cartilage to wear away as we get older.
But on the other hand, there are certain behaviors and habits that tend to make the disease worse, and if you’re living with osteoarthritis of the knee, it’s worth evaluating yourself in reference to the following list. A lifestyle change or two could produce significant relief.
Habits That Can Aggravate Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Lack of Exercise and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
It may seem counterintuitive that you should strive to be active to fight osteoarthritis knee pain. After all, if it hurts to move you knee, wouldn’t you want to avoid doing that?
Yet the fact of the matter is that exercise is good for your knee. It works against pain, stiffness, and swelling and slows the progression of osteoarthritis. Doctors recommend elliptical trainers, swimming, and cycling as well as strengthening exercises for the muscles that support the knee.
The Wrong Exercise and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
The caveat to the point above is that you need to avoid the wrong kind of exercise and avoid overdoing even the right kind. Otherwise, you’ll strain and damage your knee instead of helping it, and your osteoarthritis knee pain will get worse.
This means that lunges, deep squats, and any activity that jars the knee with repeated impacts is likely to do more harm than good, and even when undertaking an appropriate form of exercise, osteoarthritis sufferers also need to assess how active they should be overall. It’s conceivable, for example, that runners might need to cut back, while people who engage in other sorts of physical activity may need to pace themselves, stretching an activity out into multiple sessions instead of trying to do it all at once.
Being Overweight and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
When you’re living with osteoarthritis of the knee, being overweight poses health issues for you even above and beyond the issues it poses for everyone. That’s because the extra ponds place additional stress on the knees, producing pain and faster deterioration of the cartilage inside the knees. Thus, if you’re too heavy, combining that sensible exercise program with a diet and weight-loss program is a sound idea.
Nutrition and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Seeking out healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy ones will help you lose weight, and, even if you don’t need to lose it, will help you stay more active and feel better, both in general and in terms of reducing osteoarthritis knee pain. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables and lean meat while avoiding processed food, especially if you are trying to drop some pounds.
Also, make sure you’re getting vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for bone health, and if you’re not getting enough, your osteoarthritis knee pain is likely to get worse. You can try getting vitamin D via supplements although the scientific research is unclear on whether this will actually help with osteoarthritis. It may be a better approach to eat foods fortified with vitamin D like certain cereals, fish, milk, cheese, and soy products. Our bodies also get some vitamin D if we spend some time out in the sun.
Going It Alone and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Even for people who aren’t living with osteoarthritis of the knee, it’s common to be full of good intentions regarding exercise and dieting and then not follow through. It can be difficult to find the motivation to do something we think will be a hassle in the short term to obtain a long-term benefit.
Joining a group of like-minded, similarly intentioned individuals can help keep motivation strong. It’s a good idea to find such a support group whether it meets face-to-face or online.
Depression and Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
There’s clinical evidence that depression, anxiety, worry, and sleep disorders contribute to osteoarthritis knee pain. So if you suspect you’re living with osteoarthritis of the knee and suffering from depression as well, it’s a good idea to seek treatment for the latter.
Osteoarthritis Knee Treatment
While it’s an excellent idea to adjust your behavior based on the information above, the sad truth is that it may not bring complete relief from bone on bone knee pain, osteoarthritis knee swelling, and other symptoms. In which case you’ll also require a physician’s care.
At the Pain Relief Institute, we offer a comprehensive array of non-invasive pain management procedures.