Seven small but important practices

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There are many medicine options for OA, and many excellent alternatives for pain management, but nothing like your own judgment and discipline in the everyday decisions and activities.

Here is a list of 7 simple practices that will make your condition more manageable in the long run:

  1. Don’t be a hero: if the job or activity (like lifting a plant) is too big for you, don’t hesitate to say no to it, or simply ask for help.
  2. Don’t ignore your body signals: if after performing certain activities you feel excess pain and swelling, stop the activity and mitigate its intensity.
  3. Posture Hygiene: don’t underestimate what sitting and standing straight for years can do for you. This will certainly help to prevent pain and protect the joints in your neck, back, hips and knees.
  4. Don’t force your small joints: to perform heavy or big activities (like carrying and lifting), use your bigger and stronger joints and muscles as support.
  5. Nothing wrong with taking a rest: combine long and heavy activities with moments of rest. This will avoid stressing joints beyond your own limits.
  6. Protect your joints: when practicing sports of performing any physical activity (like playing soccer or gardening) protect your joints with special gear or devices like pads or garden kneelers.
  7. Build up until you become and expert: if you added a new physical activity to your routine (like sports) start slow at the beginning and listen to your body reactions. If you do this you will solidly become stronger and better in your chosen activity without loading your joints unnecessarily.

These and many more small practices can help you manage your condition and avoid future injuries. Check the OA brochure from the Arthritis foundation for more info: https://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Toolkits/Better-Living-Toolkit/OA-brochure.pdf