Do’s and Don’ts: How to manage arthritis….

A man grabbing his knee

Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. It is no respecter of age, although it affects more older people.

Most times, people with Arthritic conditions get scared when it’s cold or when they have to walk a long distance. We feel your pain, but be careful as you can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions.

So, how do you know what will work for you?

Mind your everyday routines:

Basic everyday routine

Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity. Keep your joints moving by doing daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion. Use good posture with the help of physical therapist who can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly. Know your limits, balance your activity and rest.

What can you do?
Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.

What can you avoid?
Quit smoking as it causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.

Exercise:

yoga loosens you up
Young yoga instructor leading a class in stretching

When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.

So what can you do?
Choose the right kinds of activities that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that’s right for you.

Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, yoga, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.

What can you avoid?
Activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as: Running, Jumping, and Tennis among others.

Medication:

A doctor writing prescription

Many types of medication are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. So, talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

What can you take?
Over-the-counter pain medication that can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to.

Cream that may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain.

What can you avoid?
Treatment abuse. Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly. Be also careful of udertreatment. Don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication and treatment.

Mind the emotions too:

A young man practicing meditation

It’s no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you’re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.

What can you do?
Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions. Massages work as well you must however ensure its from a professional.

Remember pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Choose to make life less painful for you with your actions.

How have you been able to manage arthritis? Please share with us in the comment section.

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