African American's and Osteoarthritis Self Care

 As some of us age there are medical diagnosis we have to live with in order to continue to remain active and healthy. The challenging diagnosis I am dealing with is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the wearing down of the protective tissue at the ends of bones (cartilage) that occur gradually and worsens over time.  I was diagnosed with OA in my shoulders and hips and since have had to modify workouts and research ways to lessen the pain.I have been very active for over 30 years with weight training and recreational sports being a part of my everyday life. I have decided a disciplined healthy lifestyle is more important with moderate pain than a sedentary lifestyle with minimal pain. Below are 5 changes I have made to my everyday life that has significantly helped and trust me it works.Reduce inflammation causing foods such as refined carbs ex. white bread, pastries, sugar, red meat  margarine and fried foods. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as green vegetables, olive oil, turmeric, nuts, fatty fish, fruits such as blueberries, cherries and strawberries. Drink plenty of water.STRETCH before weight training and after cardio training.Apply heat or ice to the infected area. I apply heat because the pain subsides faster and for longer for me. It is a choice between the two. Whichever works best for you is the method you should use.Use over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve. I only use these medications sparingly due to the long term affects. A lifestyle change is pertinent to living with OA if you want to continue to stay active and reduce pain.

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