Experiencing joint pain can severely limit a person’s range of motion. And once that range is affected, so is the ability to perform daily activities, such as getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, and preparing meals. In essence, a person’s ability to remain independent has a lot to do with the health of their bones.
So when a person is diagnosed with arthritis, a lot of questions come to mind: How will this affect their lifestyle? What can be done to keep as much range of motion as possible? What can be done for pain relief?
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and they can be caused by a myriad factors, such as age, overuse, trauma or degenerative diseases. A person suffering from it often experiences joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and it can range from mild discomfort to severely limiting the activities a person can perform on a daily basis.
5 Ways to Relieve Arthritis Pain
1. Exercise. The benefits of regular exercise cannot be stressed enough. The less you move, the stiffer you become. Also, strong muscles help support body weight, easing the strain on joints.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. The more a person weighs, the more stress that person’s joints will experience. Every pound of excess weight adds four pounds of pressure on the joints. So a person who’s 30 pounds overweight is adding 120 lbs. of stress on joints that are already in pain.
3. Maintain a healthy diet. We’re not talking about fad diets. We’re referring to something that’s sustainable long-term. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties are best when it comes to reducing arthritis pain. Some of these include ginger, turmeric, berries, spinach, tart cherry juice, olive oil, walnuts, and avocado. Foods to avoid include processed meats, white breads, and sugary drinks.
4. Apply hot and cold treatments. Heat improves circulation, so sitting in a hot tub, taking a warm bath or shower, or applying a heating pad on your joints will help reduce stiffness.
If what you’re feeling is acute pain, a simple home remedy is to apply cold treatments to numb nerve endings and reduce swelling.
5. Topical medications. There are different types of gels, creams, and patches that will ease arthritis symptoms. However, there are two precautions you need to take when choosing this route: consult with your doctor regarding any underlying medical conditions. Some active ingredients may be absorbed into your bloodstream, and you don’t want to complicate an illness.
Also, do not apply ointments prior to using a hot or cold treatment, since this may alter your perception of heat or cold. The last thing you need on top of arthritis pain is to damage your skin.
Arthritis Do’s and Don’ts
When living with arthritis, there are certain things you can do to manage your condition. Among the arthritis do’s, are the following:
- Learn as much as you can about your type of arthritis
- Explain all symptoms to your doctor (this is essential in order to obtain the best treatment)
- Maintain straight posture
- Quit smoking
- Make regular exercise part of your lifestyle
- Get enough sleep
- Eat Omega-3s fatty acids
As for the things you should avoid:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Becoming dependent on over-the-counter medications
- Fried and processed foods
- High-impact activities, such as jumping or running.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
If an injury, arthritis, or any other issue is preventing you from living your life in full motion, let us help you.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.