Conditions Affecting Mobility

There are many diseases and types of injuries that can affect the knee. These are some of the most common, along with their diagnoses and treatment; Conditions that limit mobility include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain or spine injuries, congenital abnormalities, obesity, arthritis, lower limb ischemia, and lung and balance disorders. There has been limited research on the psychosocial effects and quality of life experienced by people with these conditions. In addition to limited mobility, symptoms of pain and fatigue are common and may have a negative effect on psychosocial and physical functioning. Strategies to improve coping with symptoms of mobility-limiting conditions may improve quality of life for these individuals.

The first line of defense against limited mobility is to protect your joints. There are a variety of strategies you can use to boost your overall joint health. It may take a few weeks for you to begin to feel stronger and experience fewer aches, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice a difference immediately. Every day can help bring you one step closer to living with less pain.

Lose a Few Pounds: Losing weight helps take pressure off your joints, but you don't have to lose a lot to make a difference. Losing just 10 pounds relieves each knee of about a 30-pound load with every stride.

Move More: Doing low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help you reduce your weight, so joints have less overall force to bear. Bonus? It can help strengthen muscles around your joints, for improved stability, and help prevent strains and sprains.

Consider an Herbal Remedy: Some natural remedies have been shown to be effective anti-inflammatories that can help ease joint pain, making it more comfortable for you to move more. According to one study, taking 500 mg of the combined herbal supplements curcumin and boswellia twice daily was better than prescription drugs at relieving pain, increasing walking distance and minimizing joint tenderness. Ginger may also help relieve inflammation: You can take it as an herbal supplement or brew it as tea. Always seek the professional advice of an herbalist, and talk to your physician before trying anything new.

Enjoy Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which can alleviate symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. You can get omega-3 fatty acids in foods like salmon, sardines, tuna, flax seeds, soybeans and walnuts. Talk to your doctor about whether you are getting enough from your diet—a fish oil supplement can help fill the gap, if not.

Try Massage Therapy: Studies have shown that people suffering from chronic joint pain enjoy a reduction in symptoms when they regularly get massages. Massage is also proven to lower stress and anxiety, which may help you lose weight. (If you find that stress triggers overeating, for example, a session may help you manage that tendency.) Think of massage as an emotional motivator: Booking a rub-down can be an inspiring reward as you dedicate yourself to healthy eating and regular exercise.