One person out of nine suffers from osteoarthritis, making it one of the most common chronic diseases among humans. While not lethal, osteoarthritis may seriously impact one's life and overall health condition. As this form of arthritis affects cartilage, its main effects include stiffness of joints up to the point where it is impossible to move the joint at all, and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis commonly attack hands, knees, hips and spine, often effectively preventing the patient from actually moving.
Osteoarthritis, just as all other forms of arthritis, can't be cured. Fortunately for those affected, it can be now kept in check and prevented, provided that you take the right steps before the situation aggravates.
Your prime weapon against osteoarthritis isn't the doctor's prescriptions, but remaining fit. A mix of sport, cardiovascular exercises and a healthy diet may do wonders to your condition. Generally, anything that increase your muscles abilities to move joints is good - it reduces stress put on the cartilage and thus slows down the speed of its loss. Every pound of muscles you gain is a year more in good health. Every pound of fat you lose during the exercising is a pound less for your joints to carry.
Ice and hot baths are the two best methods of getting rid of the pain which comes along with osteoarthritis. Hot bath makes blood flow faster and muscles relax, thus decreasing the pain. The affected joints however, have to be treated with ice rather than hot water - unlike in case of rheumatoid arthritis, heat will only increase the pain.
Over-the-counter pain killers such as Acetaminophen are also an acceptable solution for those who do not want to ask their doctors for some prescription drugs. If it doesn't help though, contact your doctor immediately and ask for some stronger drugs. Just remember to learn about the side-effects - as you are going to take the pills for a long time, you'd better be prepared for all possible problems.
Another thing you may do is to add more Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. They have the strong anti-inflammatory effect and are often used to treat heart diseases and arthritis. As most of the times it is difficult to create a tasty and varied diet with enough Omega-3 fatty acids, it is often a good idea to rely on the food supplements such as Omega Daily.
The bottom line is: if you have osteoarthritis, stay healthy. Overweight, lack of exercises and bad diet will only speed up the pace of arthritis. Staying fit and keeping your joints safe are two most important things you have to do.