Sports-related activities, as well as falls and other trauma, can injure the cartilage within a joint and, if it is not provided sufficient time to heal, chronic pain and persistent disability can follow. These activities and incidents may increase the risk of osteoarthritis, especially if there's impact involved or there's the risk of injury to ligaments. Additionally, damage to the bone surface can start a biological process that results in joint degeneration. This, in turn, often leads to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Arthritis is often a chronic disease meaning it can affect the person afflicted over a long period of time. It cannot be cured, but it can be treated through a variety of methods and products. Learning how to manage your joint pain over the long term is an important factor in controlling the disease and maintaining a good quality of life. This is a brief overview of some of the methods that arthritis sufferers can use to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with arthritis, especially joint pain. Products, both prescription and over-the-counter, for relieving arthritic joint pain are described in Joint Pain Products.
Heat and cold Heat and/or cold therapy is not recommended to alleviate symptoms associated with all types of arthritis and as such, the decision whether to use it or not should be discussed with your doctor or physical therapist.
Massage Massage is associated with temporarily relieving joint pain, one of the major symptoms associated with arthritis, rather than treating the underlying cause of a loss of cartilage.
Exercise Low-impact exercises such as stretching exercises, swimming, walking, low-impact aerobics, and range-of-motion exercises may reduce joint pain and stiffness while increasing joint mobility.
Weight Reduction In addition to alleviating some symptoms, the weight loss associated with an exercise program is beneficial in relieving the extra stress that extra pounds put on weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Studies have shown that overweight women who lost approximately 10 pounds substantially reduced the development of osteoarthritis in their knees.