An estimated 55 million Americans are dealing with diagnosed cases of arthritis. Even without factoring in how many people might be muddling along with undiagnosed cases, that’s still a large segment of our population; and up to 45% of those who have been diagnosed are suffering from lifestyle limitations due to their arthritis pain.
Fortunately, with a bit of course correction, many people with arthritis could see a lessening of their pain and an increase in their day-to-day quality of life.
Arthritis Pain: Top 4 Dos and Don’ts
While these tips and tricks won’t cure you, they can have an impact on your pain levels.
Do: Stay Active
Even without an arthritis diagnosis, exercise is a key component to maintaining healthy muscles, joints, tendons, and bones. Once you’re coping with arthritis, daily movement and regular exercise take on even larger roles.
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. (Mayo Clinic)
In addition to these benefits, exercise can help in other ways.
- Enhance mood
- Control weight
- Regulate sleep
Of course, when your body is stiff and sore, the last thing you feel like doing is a heavy workout.
That’s why we recommend that arthritis sufferers engage in light to moderate workouts.
Don’t: Eat Foods That Increase Inflammation
When you’re dealing with arthritis, the last thing you need is increased inflammation.
One way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to pay attention to your diet. By intentionally avoiding foods that are known to increase inflammation, you can rest assured that you’re not needlessly adding to your pain levels.
Foods that are known to increase inflammation include the following:
- Vegetable oils
- Artificial trans fats
- High fructose corn syrup
- Refined carbohydrates
- Excessive alcohol
Taking control of your diet is a wonderful way to help manage your arthritis pain.
Do: Manage Weight
A wonderful side effect of intentionally exercising and paying attention to your diet is that you will begin to manage your weight naturally.
Weight plays a fairly straightforward role in coping with arthritis. The more you weigh, the more pressure you’re putting on your joints and the higher your pain levels can be.
By maintaining a steady weight within the healthy boundaries for your height, you can see some relief in your arthritis symptoms.
Don’t: Ignore Your Body
When something’s wrong, your body generally sends signals.
We ignore these signals at our own peril.
“Certain illnesses and injuries should be evaluated and treated within a narrow time frame, often the sooner, the better,” says Jennifer Maynard, M.D., a family medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL… You know your body best, so if something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out. (Prevention)
When you’re dealing with arthritis pain, your body will generally let you know when you’ve eaten poorly, stayed sitting too long, overworked yourself, or have developed habits that heighten your arthritis pain.
If you’re noticing symptoms that something’s wrong or getting worse, the last thing you should do is ignore them and hope they go away.
Whatever Else You Do
Whatever else you do, don’t try to manage your arthritis alone.
Help is available through doctors, nutritionists, and physical therapists. With their wealth of experience and practical knowledge, they can help you manage your symptoms and decrease your arthritis pain.
Arthritis Treatment Specialists
Southern Pain Clinic is the best place to seek specialized treatments for arthritis pain. To learn more about how to manage your arthritis pain effectively, or to schedule an appointment with us, please feel free to contact us today.