Have you felt tightness in your joints or uncomfortable aches following periods of excessive use or inactivity? There is the possibility you’re affected by osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis. So, what exactly is taking place within your body? The breakdown of cartilage material results in the bones rubbing against one another, resulting in stiffness, pain, and decreased mobility in the joint. This type of arthritis generally has an effect on the hips, knees, hands, neck, as well as lower back.
If you believe that osteoarthritis might be impacting your life, Harmony Home Health & Hospice suggests getting a thorough physical exam by a healthcare provider – and we are available to provide helpful home health care assistance.
To help you better understand the symptoms of osteoarthritis, as well as strategies for managing osteoarthritis, our home health care experts offer the following information.
- Stiffness or pain in the joints following periods of excessive use or inactivity.
- Bony growths at the margins of affected joints.
- Grating or “catching” experience in the course of joint movement.
Management of Osteoarthritis
Physical activity keeps joints pliable and maintains or improves muscle strength.
- Joint protection reduces the risk of strain or stress on painful joints.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for prevention and to slow the progression of osteoarthritis impacting the weight-bearing joints (knees and hips) and lower back.
- Treatment approaches often entail a mixture of medications, rest, physical activity, joint protection, use of heat or cold to reduce pain, and occupational or physical therapy.
- Many people with osteoarthritis use pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen to reduce joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid derivatives can often be injected into joints that are not responding to treatment.
Harmony Home Health & Hospice is available to help a person with osteoarthritis remain as independent as possible. Contact us online to learn more about our home health care services, and to find a partner in care to help with the numerous effects of osteoarthritis. Just some of the ways we are available to help include:
- In-home physical and occupational therapy
- Skilled nursing and home health care to implement any doctor’s recommended treatment plan
- Education and support to better manage this chronic condition or any others
- And so much more
*Tips courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation