Osteoarthritis affects us all

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Tips for Patients

It is essential that you remain active and continue to work, but you have to make sure you do it in good conditions. Even if you experience pain, you can still perform certain tasks. You have to move to get better! Mobilizing your joints will prevent stiffness and increase the amplitude of your movements.
Tai-Chi.jpgPerforming physical exercises will strengthen your muscles and help soften your tendons, which will protect your joints. There are plenty of exercises you can do yourself. Practicing physical activity on a regular basis is good for physical, but also psychological health (decreased anxiety, pleasure, etc.)

balance.jpgLosing weight is necessary in case of overweight. Obesity is known to promote the onset and aggravation of osteoarthritis as it increases the risk of knee and hip wear. Improving your eating habits will allow you to better control your weight. Do not hesitate to consult a dietitian or a nutritionist.
carnet-(1).jpgEvaluate your pain on a regular basis so that you can talk about it more easily with your doctor. Why not keep a small diary? Write down your symptoms, the circumstances in which the pain occurs, but also your activities and your progress.

Even if you do not like the idea of walking with the help of a cane or a crutch, these aids can still be useful to spare/relieve your joints. But why not use an umbrella instead? And do not forget shopping carts.

Relax.jpgRemember to relax. Some relaxation exercises (muscle contraction and relaxation) can help you reduce the pain by relaxing the muscles surrounding the inflamed joint. Do not forget to breathe deeply, using your abdomen, and focus on your sensations. A little soft music may help you. Practice mentally visualizing a pleasant situation (e.g. imagine that you are out for a walk with your friends), an activity that brings you well-being (e.g. swimming) or a place that soothes you (e.g. beach).
       It is essential that you get involved in your own care. You are the one who knows best about your own osteoarthritis and who can act about it! Listen to your doctor's advice and follow your treatment to the letter.       

The information and advice given on this website are not a substitute for medical advice.

Translated from French by G. Johnen, 1st year Master's student in translation at the ULg.