Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting over 4 million Canadians. As you age, your risk can increase, but nearly one third of people with osteoarthritis report being diagnosed much earlier in their life. In September’s Speaker Series, Advanced Practice Occupational Therapist Patricia Dickson spoke about many of the evidence-based ways to live well with osteoarthritis.
Find simple ways to move
If you have hip or knee osteoarthritis, staying active can be a challenge.
But staying active can help you manage your pain. Consider incorporating the options below in your daily routine:
- Aim for 3,000 steps a day. If you are able, you can work your way up to 6,000 steps or more! Use hiking poles or a cane to ease any pain and improve your walking pattern.
- To put less of a load on your hips or knees, biking and water-based exercises are great options.
- Mind-body exercises like Tai Chi can help to improve strength, balance and your mood.
It’s important to remember that aiming for 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is a great way to start. “This doesn’t have to be one 30-minute chunk — you can exercise in 10-minute intervals throughout the day too,” says Patricia.
You might also consider attending a GLA:D Canada Hip and Knee Arthritis Exercise Program after consulting with your family doctor or arthritis specialist.
Get the most out of your virtual care experience
“Some aspects of your care might be a little different, so you might need to prepare a little more,” highlights Patricia when speaking of virtual care. As we continue to navigate the changes brought on by COVID-19, virtual care is a great avenue to improve your access to care while staying in the comfort of your own home.
For the best virtual consultation experience, here are a few tips:
- Dress in loose, comfortable clothing so you can move around easily.
- If your appointment will occur over the phone, think about how to best describe what your joint looks like.
- In the case that your appointment will be over a video call, make sure you are in a space where you can move comfortably and show your joints.
- Try to log in early so you can check your internet connection!
For more information and resources on osteoarthritis, check out some of the resources below:
- A guide for patients having hip or knee replacement
- The Arthritis Society
- Health Quality Ontario, Quality Standards “Care for Adults With Osteoarthritis of the Knee, Hip, or Hand” Patient Reference Guide