Beyond Medication: Effective Strategies for Managing Osteoarthritis Pain

Woman Helping Senior Neighbor To Remove Jar Lid

There are a number of alternative strategies that can assist with managing osteoarthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis impacts nearly 27 million Americans, which makes it the most widespread form of arthritis. It is a significant source of work disability and reduced quality of life. However, managing osteoarthritis pain does not mean only popping pills to find relief. The home health care team at Harmony Home Health & Hospice can help individuals diagnosed with osteoarthritis manage the pain through a variety of alternative methods.

After being correctly diagnosed, there are various strategies to manage the pain of osteoarthritis. Some approaches tend to be more traditional than others, but considering not every person reacts to therapies in the same way, it is a good idea for each individual to try several techniques (with the recommendation of a physician) to find out what works best.

What Are Some Strategies for Managing Osteoarthritis Pain?

Controlling Weight

One of the most important strategies to manage the discomfort of arthritis is controlling weight. For each pound of weight lost, there is a 4-pound drop in the weight exerted on the knee when performing everyday activities; and losing 11 pounds can reduce the chance of developing knee osteoarthritis by an astounding 50% for some people.


Regular exercise helps keep joints active, diminishes pain and makes muscles around the joints stronger. Swimming is ideal for individuals with osteoarthritis because the water’s buoyancy allows for exercise with minimal impact stress to the joints, while at the same time, developing strength and increasing range of motion.


When treating the body for osteoarthritis pain, do not neglect the power of the mind. The mind plays a crucial role in how an individual experiences pain and responds to illness. Coping with tension through relaxation tactics can give a sense of control and wellbeing that makes it easier to manage osteoarthritis pain and may also minimize depression, anxiety, and sleeping issues.

Cold and Warm Therapy

Cold and warm therapy can also be beneficial pain management treatments. Heat therapy, including a warm shower, hot pack, or heating pad, can loosen rigid and sore muscles. Cold therapy, including cold compresses and frozen gel packs, can help by numbing nerve endings in afflicted spots. Note that individuals who have Reynaud’s syndrome should not use cold therapies.

Occupational Therapy

A physician may recommend occupational therapy for a person with osteoarthritis. Occupational therapists can help with body mechanics (learning how to move the body in such a way that will not increase pain), joint protection techniques, and modifying daily activities to conserve energy.

Harmony Home Health & Hospice is available to help individuals with arthritis remain independent and in control of life. We recognize the unique needs of people diagnosed with arthritis and offer a number of home health care solutions based on each person’s needs.

Contact Harmony Home Health & Hospice at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE for more information on our home health care services and to learn about partnering with an agency that can provide support when a helping hand is needed. We proudly offer our top-rated services in New Mexico and Utah. Visit our Service Area page to learn more about the communities we serve.