Your Moments. Your Treatment Options.

Opportunities for healthy behavior

What can you do to help yourself?

1. MAINTAIN YOUR PROPER WEIGHT

Did you know that extra body weight puts additional pressure on your knees? If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds can ease the pressure and strain on your knees. For every pound you lose, you will reduce 4 pounds of joint stress on your knees.1,2 Additionally, weight loss is recommended in the osteoarthritis (OA) guidelines for people with OA knee pain.3

With proper diet and exercise, maintaining a healthy weight is an attainable goal. You can do it! All you have to do is make up your mind. Ask your doctor what your ideal body weight should be. (Review diet and exercise programs with your doctor to confirm they are appropriate for you.) Then put your plan into action.

WITH PROPER DIET AND EXERCISE, MAINTAINING A HEALTHY
BODY WEIGHT IS SOMETHING WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.

2. EAT RIGHT

By learning to eat the right foods, you can help reduce the inflammation and discomfort of OA knee pain. This may also help you lose those extra pounds and maintain a healthier body weight.

Alcohol and tobacco may compromise your efforts to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which is important to avoid or reduce joint inflammation.

3. EXERCISE REGULARLY

If you have OA knee pain, regular exercise can actually ease your joint pain and improve your ability to perform daily activities. For many people with OA knee pain, exercise may be difficult. Here are some tips on how to start and maintain a regular exercise program.7,8

  • Start slowly—don’t overdo it. Limit your exercise time in the beginning and add a little more time each day. Your objective is to exercise regularly, not to do a weeks’ worth of exercise in one day
  • Ice it like a pro. Professional athletes use cold packs on their joints during rest periods. Use cold packs on your knees immediately after exercise to prevent inflammation
  • Be proactive against pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medicine before or after exercise to help reduce inflammation. Be sure to follow the dosing instructions
  • Stick to approved OA exercises. To avoid injury, use exercises that are approved for people with OA of the knee
  • If you feel unusual pain, stop exercising. Never try to exercise through pain. Stop for the day and when you feel better, begin your exercise program again
  • Have your doctor review your exercise program. Make sure your doctor sees the exercises you intend to do and reviews them for you

References: 1. Messier SP, Gutekunst DJ, Davis C, DeVita P. Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2005;52(7):2026-2032. 2. Small weight loss takes big pressure off knee. WebMD website. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/news/20050629/small-weight-loss-takes-pressure-off-knee. Published June 29, 2005. Accessed October 11, 2016. 3. Ravaud P, Flipo RM, Boutron I, et al. ARTIST (osteoarthritis intervention standardized) study of standardised consultation versus usual care for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in primary care in France: pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;338:b421. doi:10.1136/bmj.b421. 4. Diet and osteoarthritis. WebMD website. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/osteoarthritis-diet. Reviewed April 2, 2014. Accessed October 11, 2016. 5. Foods to avoid with arthritis. Healthline website. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-to-avoid-with-arthritis. Accessed October 11, 2016. 6. Foods and arthritis. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/foods-and-arthritis. Accessed October 11, 2016. 7. Osteoarthritis: exercising with arthritis. WebMD website. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/exercising-with-osteoarthritis. Updated May 9, 2013. Accessed October 11, 2016. 8. Over 50 and living better with osteoarthritis. WebMD website. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/live-better-10/knee-hip-exercises. Reviewed March 11, 2014. Accessed October 11, 2016.

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