Osteoarthritis pain can occur in any joint, but it most often affects the knees, hips, back, and hands, which may not only affect your ability to get around but also limit your ability to engage in many of your favorite day-to-day activities and hobbies.
What hurts and what helps
Why you should not skip medications
Simple lifestyle changes to help control pain
Understanding what hurts and what can help
Learning how to manage osteoarthritis pain can help you take back control of your life and be able to participate in more of the daily activities you enjoy. To get pain relief for arthritis, it helps to know what can make osteoarthritis pain feel worse and what can help you in managing it.
|Things that may make osteoarthritis pain feel worse
||Things that can help make osteoarthritis pain more manageable
- Overdoing physical activity
- Getting too little sleep
- Overly tiring your joints
- Putting undue stress on affected joints (eg, carrying heavy shopping bags with one hand)
- Getting regular, moderate exercise
- Losing weight, if necessary
- Getting massages, and heat and/or cold treatments
- Giving your joints a rest when they need it
- Taking your medication(s) as prescribed
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The importance of taking your medication as directed
So what about those days when you’re feeling pretty good? Your arthritis pain seems to be under control and you may be tempted to take a few days off from your NSAID therapy because it sometimes upsets your stomach.
If you're finding it difficult to take your NSAIDs every day as prescribed because of stomach issues, ask your doctor about VIMOVO. VIMOVO is an arthritis pain reliever that can also help to avoid some stomach issues common to NSAIDs, and it may be a prescription NSAID therapy option that can help you get your arthritis pain and inflammation under control—and get you back to doing some of the things you love.
VIMOVO should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest amount of time as directed by your physician. Controlled studies do not extend beyond 6 months.
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Making simple lifestyle changes for arthritis pain relief
Lifestyle changes can help you get pain relief for arthritis, and can also help prevent osteoarthritis from getting to the point where it limits your ability to participate in everyday activities. Here are some helpful suggestions to discuss with your doctor.
Get regular exercise. Research shows that moderate exercise can be an effective way to help manage osteoarthritis pain, reducing joint pain and stiffness, helping build muscles around affected joints, and increasing your flexibility and endurance.
Before getting started, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the type of exercise that's right for you. Then get moving with a program that can include
- Strengthening exercises to build the muscles that support the joints affected by arthritis
- Range of motion exercises, such as stretching your arms, legs, and back, to help keep your joints flexible
- Endurance exercises, such as walking or swimming, to help keep your heart, lungs, and muscles strong
Protect your joints. Talk to your doctor about ways to help reduce added stress on your joints. Some helpful tips include
- Don't over-stress an affected joint. Use self-help devices, such as jar openers and buttoning aids, and use both arms when carrying things to avoid putting too much stress on one joint
- Avoid staying in one position too long. Reposition your body often to keep your joints from becoming stiff and painful
- Balance activity with rest. Don't keep going when your joints are telling you they need a break. Take a breather when you need it
- Watch your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce stress on your joints and increase your ability to get around. Talk to your doctor about healthy eating habits and coming up with a plan for you
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The information on this Web site is not intended as medical advice and should not take the place of talking with your doctor about how to manage and treat your osteoarthritis. If you have any questions about osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You should also talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you would like more information about VIMOVO.
Next: Arthritis Smart Moves