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Originally Posted On: 4 Proven Ways on How to Manage Arthritis | A Very Sweet Blog
Arthritis is not a single disease. It’s a collective term meaning joint disease and joint pain. Arthritis is not well understood, and most people think it’s only about joints’ wear and tear.
More so, this is not an old-people disease. People of all sexes, races, and ages do and can have arthritis. It’s estimated that approximately 54.4 million US adults have arthritis. This degenerative condition tends to worsen with age.
Doctors provide medication for pain relief, but they also recommend using natural approaches. Ensure you consult your healthcare giver before trying any arthritis remedy.
Arthritis has no known cure, but treatments have improved in recent years. And there is not magic arthritis diet.
Early diagnosis enables you to start treatment early enough. Besides, it’s hard to know the cause of arthritis, but several factors can trigger each type of arthritis.
Luckily, you can manage arthritis with the right approach- whether natural or medicinal. Here are four proven ways on how you can manage arthritis pain.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Proper weight management is crucial for overall well-being and health. As you age, your metabolism slows down. And with inactive life, you will quickly gain weight.
Many factors can affect your weight, including gender, family habits and culture, genes, sleep, age, and even where you work and live. But with healthy foods and being active, your metabolism will increase, burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Ensure you choose nutrient-dense foods and get physical- at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
Excess weight puts immense stress on joints, which worsens arthritis damage and cause excess pain. Being only 10-pounds overweight is enough to stress your knees. Being obese, therefore, increases the chances of developing arthritis.
There are various ways you can simply manage your arthritis, including
- Realistic Weight Loss Goal
Don’t peg your goals too high lest you set yourself up for failure. You’ll also get discouraged along the way. You can start by lowering your weight by 4 -5%. Once you hit your first goal, lose another 5% of your weight.
It’s important to set achievable goals since, with arthritis, you can be limited in physical activities.
You cannot outdo your fork. Meaning weight loss is not achievable without considering what you eat. But ensure you find the diet that works for you. You can’t find a one-size-fits-all diet.
Choose an approach that will deliver a long-term solution.
Most, if not all, restaurant meals are always loaded with salt, calories, and fat, which lead to weight gain. Some entrees contain more calories than you’re supposed to take in a day. If you take meals in restaurants, ensure you divide the portion by half and take the other half home.
But the best practice is to cook and eat at home. When you cook at home, you control how and what you eat.
2. Protect Your Joints
You need to adapt to a daily routine that will make you relieve pressure on joints. Stiffness worsens the pain in your joints, especially knees. Work or sports-related injuries to your joints can increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis.
To prevent or minimize injuries to joints, wear protective equipment. More so, avoid repetitive motion around your joints. Avoid movements or positions that exert stress on joints. When working at a desk, make it a habit of getting up and stretching after every 1 hour.
At home, you can use casters on furniture to make house cleaning easier. You can also put a bathing stool in the shower or tub as it doesn’t stress your joints. Ask close relatives or acquaintances to help with specific tasks.
3. Seek Medical Help
Arthritis can lead to other effects such as swelling and tenderness of the affected areas, neck and back pain, loss of flexibility, and stiffness of the spine. Therefore, you need your doctor’s advice on the best treatment.
For instance, people who get spinal arthritis – osteoarthritis- may experience back and neck pain leading to more damage to the cartilage.
An osteoarthritis is a common form of spinal arthritis that affects your lower back.
This degenerative arthritis develops through wear and tear. When spinal arthritis goes untreated, it can have adverse effects on your spine. Ensure you, therefore, seek help from reliable healthcare institutions like Southwest Scoliosis Institute.
4. Stay Active
Exercise helps ease arthritis stiffness and pain. But as you consider starting workouts, you need to know your limits. Exercising or staying active is crucial for arthritis patients. It boosts flexibility, strength, combat fatigue, and reduces joint pain.
You don’t need to swim like a prowess or run a marathon. Even moderate workouts can ease your pain. Exercises help in:
- Strengthening muscles around the joints
- Giving you more energy to carry out throughout the day
- Enhancing the quality of your life
- Making it easier to get adequate sleep
- Controlling your weight
- Improving your balance
Before you embark on any exercise routine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider first. You’ll be advised on the best workouts for you. Among the best exercises include:
Aerobics – Aerobic helps with your overall fitness. They enhance your cardiovascular health, give you stamina and energy, and help you manage your weight. Low impact aerobics include bicycling, walking, using an elliptical machine, and swimming.
Strength Training – Strength training builds strong muscles to support and protect your joints. Ensure you train different muscle groups for balance. Have a three-day-a-week strength training program to jump start your movement.
Take a rest when the joints get painful or swollen.
Keep the impact low with workouts such as recumbent bicycles and elliptical trainers. In case of swollen and painful joints, you may apply heat to relax your muscles and joints.
Exercise with easy and slow movements. Slow down if you feel sharp pain or notice redness or swelling in your joints. Finally, apply ice to the joints for about 20 minutes after working out.
Arthritis can be painful and cause lots of discomforts. It can strike anyone regardless of age, race, and gender. Even though it has no known cure, you can manage this degenerative disease with the above tips.
Take it slow and don’t be hard on yourself. With appropriate treatment, active life, and a good diet, you can still live a painless life.