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Statistics show that that up to 97% of people over the age of 60 will demonstrate signs of Osetoarthritis in one joint or another. Osteoarthiritis is characterized by deterioration of the cartilage in a joint and is progressive in nature. Signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis can include pain, weakness, stiffness, tenderness to touch, and deformity of the joint(s). These potential symptoms can play a major role in our ability to engage in activities that we enjoy, such as gardening. Here are some tips on how to continue to garden even with signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
Joint Protection – Due to Osteoarthritis being a progressive disease, it is important to do what you can to prevent it from becoming worse.
Ergonomic Tools – There are various ergonomic tools available for gardening. These can be found in most common stores or online.
Heat and/or Ice – Using moist heat or a cold pack can help to reduce your pain symptoms.
Exercise – “If you don’t use it, you lose it!”
It is very important with arthritis to continue to use the motion that you have available in each joint in order to keep or maintain that motion. The same is true for strength.
If you feel that you would benefit from treatment of your Osteoarthritis symptoms, discuss this with your physician for a possible referral to Occupational Therapy.