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Here are ways to reduce osteoarthritis pain

Photo: Ways to reduce osteoarthritis pain
Exercise and a healthy weight are the best ways to manage osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage inside a joint breaks down causing pain and stiffness but there are ways to manage the chronic condition without surgery.

* Reduce weight. Staying within a normal and health weight range will ease the burden on the joints.

* Exercise. Regular exercise can help reduce pain and stiffness by improving mobility and strength of the joint.

* Get strong. Strengthening the muscles around the joints is important because the stronger they are the more weight they can take.

* Get wet. Gentle warm water exercises or hydrotherapy is recommended.
* See a physio. A physiotherapist can provide advice on way to modify activities, show pain relief techniques and design a personal exercise program.

* Medication. Depending on symptoms a doctor may recommend either over-the-counter or prescription medication. Paracetamol is typically recommended for temporary pain relief, while non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) - such as ibuprofen - can be used to control inflammation.

* Relax. Relaxation techniques involving muscle relaxation and meditation can help manage pain and difficult emotions, such as anxiety.

* Seek support. Talking to family, friends and health professionals can help.

(Source: MOVE muscle, bone & joint health)

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