Lose weight: For every extra pound you carry, you put about three pounds of additional pressure on your knees and multiply the pressure on your hips by six. If you have arthritis, losing just 15 pounds can cut your knee pain in half. If you do eventually need a joint replaced, losing weight beforehand can reduce your risk of having complications from surgery. Swimming, walking, or riding a stationary bike are the way to go. • Take care when using your joints: By standing up straight instead of slouching you can protect the joints in your neck, hips, and knees. Also use the proper technique when lifting or carrying anything heavy. If any activity hurts, stop doing it right away. • Try nonsurgical approaches before turning to surgery: Treatment with steroid injections is one approach. Benefits can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months. However, it doesn’t work for everyone. Viscosupplementation involves injecting a lubricating fluid into damaged knee joints to treat osteoarthritis. • Get pain relief: Use NSAIDs. There is also some evidence that the dietary supplement glucosamine chondroitin can lead to subtle improvements in arthritis pain. “It doesn’t rebuild joints, but it does seem to help with the pain. • If you can’t escape from joint pain even while at rest, your pain is only relieved by narcotic medications, or your function is severely compromised, it’s time to consider a joint replacement.

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