Let’s face it: being active and being able to move is a major part of life. When osteoarthritis starts to affect your everyday activities, it can be a real challenge. But there is so much you can do! Don’t let your disease control your life. Take action, and make a huge impact on the fight against OA!
Staying informed about your disease is your first line of defense. Many great resources are available regarding new therapies, arthritis education, and community events. Here are a few to start with:
- The Arthritis Foundation
- The Arthritis National Research Foundation
- The Arthritis Research Institute of America
It also helps to keep a journal of your symptoms and activities so you can look for any patterns or triggers regarding your pain. Be sure to share this information with your doctor, as well as report any changes in your condition.
Investigate New Options
Always discuss any new treatment or supplement with your doctor BEFORE trying it on your own. Some of the more popular areas to explore are:
- Dietary Supplements
- Massage Therapy
- Heat & Cold Therapy
- Acupuncture & Herbal Remedies
- Meditation & Yoga
- Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Magnetic Therapy
We all know exercise is good for you, both physically and mentally. So keep on moving! Staying active is an essential part of any treatment plan when fighting OA. Take regular walks around the neighborhood and faithfully practice your physical therapy exercises at home. Join a local gym and try one of their stretching or aquatics classes. Another fun way to keep active is trying yoga or tai chi for low-impact movement and relaxation. Talk to your doctor and decide what your schedule and physical abilities allow you to do.
It’s important to know that you aren’t alone. So many people battling OA benefit from hearing the stories and challenges of others. Join a local support group and attend some sessions to connect with other patients. Or use social media and patient blogs to share information and foster a sense of community. One popular site to visit is Inspire.com, an online arthritis discussion support group. Whatever you decide, embrace the power of reaching out and sharing every opportunity you can for healing. Remember, you can make a real impact on OA!