Surgery delayed? Practice self-care at home.

Self Care, Joint Replacement, Joint Pain


Man with knee pain

Like many other things, COVID-19 has postponed many elective surgeries.

Waiting is hard! Especially when you were counting on your surgery to relieve your pain and restore your mobility. We understand.  

We can’t thank you enough for your patience, understanding, and your resolve as we work together to flatten the curve and preserve the personal protective equipment (PPE) for our heroes battling COVID-19 on healthcare’s frontline.

We hope some of these tips make it a little easier for you to wait and manage the pain until our office—and our community—returns to a healthier time.

Manage your pain
Continue to take your medications and practice the pain management techniques your health care provider shared with you at your last appointment. You can also use RICE therapy to help reduce pain.

Rest – Don’t push through the pain. Take a break when your joints or muscles hurt.

Ice or Heat – Use ice or heat as needed. Remember to warm stiff and sore joints before you use them. Apply ice or cold after your activity to minimize pain due to inflammation. 

Whether you use a heating pad or an ice pack, remember the 20-minute rule. Ice or warm for 20 minutes and then take the ice pack or the heating pad off for 20 minutes. Repeat, as necessary.

Compression – Use an elastic bandage to provide support for your joints or sore muscles. If areas around the bandage start tingling or aching, you may have it wrapped too tight. Loosen the bandage enough to allow circulation and support.

Elevate – Put your feet up or raise your hands. Raising the sore joint or injured area above your heart can help relieve inflammation and swelling, which helps reduce pain.

Lose weight if you can.
Weight affects the amount of force your knees absorb. According to Harvard Medical School, your knee joints absorb a force equal to 1.5 times your body weight when you walk across a floor. For instance, the knees of a woman, who weighs 140 pounds, absorbs 210 pounds of force with each step. The force increases if you climb stairs or walk up a hill. Losing just 10 pounds can relieve stress and pain in your knees. 

Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet to help reduce pain and stiffness.
There are several types of food that have been associated with increased inflammation. Removing them from your diet may help decrease your pain.

Stay active. 
Walk around the block. Do low-impact exercises. Being active helps you build lung capacity and strengthens your heart. 

Pre-surgical physical therapy exercises can help you recover faster.
Strengthen the muscles you’ll need after surgery while you are waiting. Ask your orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist for exercises you can do to speed recovery. 

Remember to start slow. If you feel acute pain while exercising, stop, and call your orthopedic specialist. If you feel typical soreness that results from working your muscles, stop for the day, and try again tomorrow.

When you need us, we’re here. 
If you have concerns and would like to talk to a Bone & Joint provider, call 800-445-6442 or request an appointment online. We’ll schedule a telehealth medical appointment for you. If you have an Internet connection and smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer, you will be able to “see” your provider during a virtual visit and ask questions in real-time.

If you have an urgent care need or injury, you can visit our Walk-In Care facilities.

You also can call Bone & Joint and request an appointment with an orthopedic provider.

Thank you for your patience and for working with us to keep our friends, families, and communities safe during this uncertain time.

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