Remember when it was easy to put your socks on? Arthritis!

As we get older, it gets harder and harder to do things we never used to even have to think about.  The floor seems lower than it used to be.  We have to think about which way to bend to get our socks on without falling over or making horrible noises

Our joints are all lined with cartilage, which is meant to cushion the end surfaces of the bones against each other.  This soft tissue, like all our stretchy, elastic parts, gets less strechty and elastic-y as time goes by.  But it is definitely a dynamic situation.  In most regular cases of "wear-and-tear" type osteoarthritis there is a lot of room for change.  We have good times, when everything is pretty easy, and tougher times, when we really think about how that paper towel on the floor looks.  (Looks OK.  No need to go all the way down there to pick it up.)

The BEST remedy for simple osteoarthritis, regular wear and tear to the joints, is to KEEP MOVING. Walking, biking, yoga, any kind of exercise can be beneficial.  Do something that feels right for you.  I  paid a lot  for my medical training, time and money, and I gotta tell you, one big important medical truth; If it hurts, don't do it.  (Now, we know the difference between a good hurt and a bad hurt.  Listen to your wise body.)

Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and Aleve, can do wonders to make us more comfortable.  (Tyleno is not anti-inflammatory, but can relieve some discomfort.)  The anti-inflammatories are not only relieving discomfort, but also blocking the whole inflammatory cascade.  Ice is a fine anti-inflammatory and can provide amazing relief.  If we participate in an activity after which we anticipate a flair of pain, ice up before it even has a chance to hurt.  Crazy effective. 

Heat is a wonderful muscle relaxer.  Our smart bodies will often try to protect a joint that is inflamed by tightening the muscles around it.  Heat can loosen that up.  It might feel really good.  Even just a wrap or brace around a knee or other painful joint can be lovely.

Glucosamine Sulfate has been studied and found to help thicken the cartilage of knees.  It is a more subtle and lengthy process, but many find it effective.  MSM, Kaprex AI, and other supplements are anecdotally effective.  May be worth trying, if the universe is giving you that information.  Acupunture, likewise, not well studied, but very helpful for many people.

When Sophia Loren was interviewed at 70 years old, as beautiful as she is/was, her response to the question "How do you stay so young?" was, "I don't make noise getting up from a chair." 

Do as much as you can.  Be good to yourself.  Wait for the good times.  It will become easier to put those socks on.  I promise.

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