The aches, pains and stiffness caused by arthritis may have you thinking that your participation in sports and athletic activities is over.
But an arthritis diagnosis isn’t a prescription to sit on the sidelines for the rest of your life. In fact, you can take control of this condition and manage your symptoms so you can keep doing the things you love.
You might be surprised at how simple it is to fight this painful malady.
Exercise to Help Your Arthritis
If you are like many arthritis sufferers, pain stops you from moving and engaging in physical activity.
Research has shown, however, that low-impact exercise can be quite beneficial. Regular, moderate exercise can help decrease joint pain and increase muscle strength. A regular regimen of physical activity can also help you recover and maintain the range of motion in arthritic joints.
Guidance from an orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist or physical therapist is also recommended, as doing the wrong exercises or performing them incorrectly can place undue stress on the joints and worsen your arthritis symptoms. An orthopedic expert also can advise you on how to safely participate in your favorite sports activities.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Arthritis Injections
Professional athletes, including pro golfer Tiger Woods and NFL star wide receiver Hines Ward, have been in the news for using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat chronic injuries.
This revolutionary treatment has also shown promise for treating arthritis, as platelet-rich plasma injections can potentially aid in soft tissue recovery and boost healing.
What is platelet-rich plasma? It’s a powerful treatment created from your own blood.
An orthopedic surgeon or other qualified medical professional draws a blood sample, which is then placed in a centrifuge machine. This machine isolates the platelets and increases their concentration.
The resulting plasma is then injected into the areas affected by arthritis.
The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes and can be quite effective in relieving arthritis symptoms. PRP treatment is one of the most revolutionary developments in sports medicine, as it is quick, painless and poses virtually no risk to the patient.
Other Conservative Arthritis Treatments
Your orthopedic surgeon also can recommend other conservative treatment options that can help alleviate your arthritis pain.
Medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen work well for many people. Topical creams or gels applied to the affected joints also may provide relief.
If these arthritis treatments are not successful, injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid may help reduce inflammation and pain.
Some nutritional interventions are also proving to be helpful for arthritis sufferers. Increasing flavonoids in your diet can help reduce the inflammation that causes arthritis. Flavonoids are a form of phytonutrients found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, legumes and green or black tea.
Conservative alternative or natural treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care or massage, may also offer some measure of relief for some arthritis patients, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments.
However, as many of these treatment methods have not been scientifically endorsed for effectiveness …