Arthritis is a group of painful and degenerative conditions affecting the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Osteoarthritis, the most common type, is a degenerative disorder that worsens with age, caused by the wear and tear on the joints as time goes on. Anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers, and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of arthritis.
Working with your doctor, here are some lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your condition.
1.Get More Exercise
Exercise can help you manage and maintain a healthy weight, preventing worsening symptoms of arthritis. Carrying extra body weight puts too much stress on your joints, increasing the wear and tear on them and limiting your movement. Exercise can also improve flexibility and increase your range of motion. Weight-bearing exercise such as running may be too much for your joints, but gentler exercise like swimming can be very beneficial.
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
Simple hot and cold therapy can help you immensely! A warm shower or bath in the morning can warm up stiff muscles and joints. Heating pads or electric blankets can also help. Ice packs wrapped in a towel can be helpful for swelling and inflammation related to arthritis.
3. Change Your Diet
Dietary changes can be made to help you manage your arthritis. Adding turmeric, a bright yellow spice common in Indian cooking, contains a powerful chemical called curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. Add turmeric to vegetables, grains, or even a smoothie for these benefits!
Adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can also help with inflammation and joint pain. Omega-3’s are naturally found in fish and other seafood, but you can also get extra Omega-3 from a fish oil pill.
4. Try Relaxation Techniques
Stress can increase the body’s inflammatory response, worsening symptoms of arthritis. Trying meditation or relaxation techniques can help decrease stress and improve symptoms. Try a midday meditation session to clear your head and cut out some time before bed to fully relax your body and mind before bed.
5. Get a Massage
Regular massage therapy can help reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints, as well as increase your range of motion. Schedule a session with a massage therapist who is knowledgeable about arthritis and be sure to communicate to your therapist any painful areas.