Hip and knee replacement surgeries are becoming common, but there is a long, painful rehabilitation period, and the surgery itself has risks. Doctors from Harvard Medical School pass along these tips on ways you might avert surgery.

NONSURGICAL TREATMENTS Steroids and lubricants injected by your physician can give you relief from pain for up to six months.

SUPPRESS THE PAIN See if over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (found in Advil and Motrin) or naproxen (found in Aleve) will control your pain enough to let you lead a normal life.

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LOSE WEIGHT Even a few extra pounds adds pressure to your joints. Harvard says arthritis sufferers can cut knee pain in half by losing 15 pounds.

DON'T SLOUCH Yes, this advice your mother gave you years ago is still useful. Bad posture puts extra pressure on your hips, knees and neck.