Arthritis is a painful condition that’s marked by inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis usually gets worse as a person gets older due to wear and tear on the joints over a long period of time.
However, there are some ways to combat the soreness, inflexibility and swelling of arthritis. Listed below are a few of these methods.
1. Get moving.
Exercising on a regular basis and at a careful rate of speed can often help with symptoms of arthritis. Exercising keeps joints flexible and helps to protect them from experiencing more damage. Moving your body strengthens and aids in preserving the muscles around joints, reducing deterioration. Being sedentary causes joints to become stiff so keeping them moving is essential for combating the pain of arthritis.
2. Know when to take a break.
While exercising is important, knowing when to rest your joints is just as crucial. When dealing with arthritis, it’s vital that a good balance of both moderate activity and rest be achieved. The person suffering from arthritis should remain active without overdoing it.
3. Watch what you eat.
Being overweight can cause additional problems for arthritis sufferers because extra pounds can limit the body’s movement, causing additional stiffness and pressure on the already stressed joints. Therefore, along with moderate exercise, eating a balanced diet can help to maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding processed foods and foods high in saturated fat and instead eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, and fish can be helpful in easing arthritis symptoms as well.
4. Get some help.
Physical therapy can be very beneficial when dealing with arthritis pain and stiffness. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen your muscles and increase range-of-motion in the joints. In addition, the patient will learn to manage arthritis pain with medication and how to keep from developing further problems.
5. Take your medication.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful in decreasing the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Prescription medication in the form of corticosteroids and injections can be used to build up and lubricate the cartilage. However, this type of treatment should be short-term, and the injections can be somewhat expensive.
6. Warm up and cool down.
Heating pads and ice packs can be applied to the affected area up to three or four times a day for about 10 to 15 minutes. Warm baths, showers and whirlpools are also useful in fighting the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
7. Accept support.
There are many products available on the market such as braces and sleeves that can help to support joints and lessen the wearing away of cartilage. Sometimes crutches or a cane may be needed to support the joints and reduce the strain on the arthritic areas.
While these methods are helpful, the best form of action when it comes to arthritis is prevention. It’s important to watch for the warning signs of arthritis in or around joints, such as pain, swelling, extreme tenderness, pain with movement, and stiffness. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can help you to prevent or at least slow down future damage of the joints.