Managing Arthritis at Home
In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, most Californians are following
shelter-in-place orders to help prevent the spread of the virus and to
protect their families and communities. However, there is still the need
to get exercise in, and many of us have found ourselves doing do-it-yourself
projects around the house, gardening, or other hobbies to keep us occupied.
As a result, our current environment does not eliminate the need for orthopedic
care for arthritic conditions and chronic pain. While many aches and pains
can be ignored, those affecting weight-bearing joints can get in the way
of performing daily activities and can negatively affect your quality of life.
If your hip or knee replacement surgery has been delayed due to the COVID-19
pandemic, here are some helpful tips from Newport Orthopedic Institute
hip & knee surgeons to help you ease your joint pain while you wait
to get your surgery rescheduled.
Apply a Cold Compress
If you experience a sudden onset of swelling and redness to your joint
after exercise or activity, applying ice or a cold compress can reduce
inflammation, swelling, and pain related to arthritis. Applying ice has
the opposite effect of applying heat, as it
reduces blood flow to the area.
Use a Heating Pad
Applying a heating pad to the affected joint can actually help to
relax the muscles and alleviate joint stiffness surrounding your knee or hip, effectively
relieving your joint pain. This is because heat
allows blood to flow more freely to the joint. Applying heat before an activity is a great
way to warm up joints to avoid further injury. Some people may benefit
from alternating between heat and cold therapy.
Practice Dynamic Stretching
Contrary to the popular belief that you should take it easy and sit still
when experiencing joint pain, it can worsen your joint pain in the long-run.
When living with chronic pain, getting regular low-impact exercise, like
yoga and other forms of dynamic or “active” stretching,
helps to keep your joints mobile and to support the muscles surrounding the area that support it. Dynamic stretching mimics movements used in various sports
or activities, in effect, preparing the body for a given activity by helping
to increase blood flow and muscle temperature.
Review Prevention’s article on the “7 Best Stretches for Arthritis Pain.”
Manage Your Stress Levels
When your body is stressed, it has a physical response to the stress hormone
called cortisol—causing your
muscles to tense up as a way to safeguard your body from pain and injury. When exposed to
stress hormones for long periods of time, this can exacerbate the pain
associated with chronic pain.
For those living with chronic pain, it is important to find healthy coping
mechanisms to keep your stress levels under control. Try incorporating
some of these techniques into your everyday routine to manage your stress levels:
- Get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Practice meditation or yoga.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Practice journaling.
- Spend virtual time with loved ones.
Pain Management Services in Newport Beach, CA
At Newport Orthopedic Institute, we understand that patients living with
persistent pain still need quality orthopedic care, regardless of the
current COVID-19 outbreak. If your hip or knee replacement surgery has
been delayed due to the pandemic, we are still offering steroid injections
to help alleviate your pain for the time being. Your physician can determine
if steroid injections are right for you & your individual injury.
Elective surgeries have started to resume for candidates who do not fall into the
Call your Orthopedic Surgeon at Newport Orthopedic Institute to see if
you are a candidate for elective surgery.
Telehealth Orthopedic Services
We also understand that our patients may have questions and concerns surrounding
their condition or course of treatment, but would rather limit face-to-face
interaction. NOI is offering
Telehealth orthopedic care solutions for a fast, secure, and easy way to receive
pain management care with your orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine doctor
or pain management specialist.
To schedule a virtual orthopedic appointment, call Newport Orthopedic Institute
or fill out our Telehealth
appointment request form.