Home › Agencies ›Departments »
28 Walnut Street
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is not a normal part of aging. Inflammation in the joint tissues causes pain when you bend or move. Arthritis pain can rob people of their quality of life—causing them to lose muscle strength, sleep poorly, and even sink into depression. Managing the pain is possible The best way to beat pain is to stop it before it starts. Here are several suggestions:
- Pace yourself Switch between heavier and lighter tasks. Balance activity with planned rest breaks, and don’t overdo it.
- Protect your joints Avoid activities that stress your joints. Use splints, braces, and assistive devices if needed, and practice good posture.
- Control your weight Losing just one pound of body weight will take four pounds of pressure off your knees. Shedding extra weight reduces pain and improves function. The best way to lose weight is physical activity combined with a healthy diet.
- Increase physical activity Being physically active is the best thing you can do for pain. But it’s important to move safely and wisely. Talk to your doctor about types and amounts of activity that can help you build strength, increase endurance, and maintain flexibility.
- Get a good night’s sleep Better sleep equals less pain. To improve your sleep, get regular physical activity, avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and avoid stress before bedtime.
When you need relief, a combination of prevention and pain relief strategies works best for most people including heat and cold treatments, relaxation techniques, and massage. Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and topical treatments also can help. Remember to tell your doctor how much pain you have and share your goals for pain control.
* Tips by Fran Boardman