Top 5 Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain
There are millions of people suffering from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which affects the bones. Arthritis can be one of the most painful conditions – even the slightest movements can be excruciating, which can leave sufferers unable to live a normal life. Arthritis is a degenerative disease too, which means that it will get worse. With inflammation of the joints, it can be hard to move fingers, hands, feet – even walking can feel like you are trying to move through fire. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t live a regular life – there are a number of ways to monitor the pain. Here are the top 5 tips for managing arthritis pain.
- Eat right. Sometimes pain management is as simple as eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Many of these foods have antioxidants that can reduce swelling and inflammation. By sticking closely to a very strict diet of only healthy options – and never any fast food – you can actually significantly reduce the pain and even slow down the proliferation of the disease. Eating fish can help too – and plenty of salads with fresh, local ingredients. Genetically modified foods can be harmful, so the more local ingredients you can eat the better.
- Exercise as much as you can. While you don’t want to push yourself, you do want to move your body, because the longer you stay still, the more painful it will be to move. Doing exercises while sitting down, like spinning your arms and hands – and rolling your neck are perfect for getting the body moving in the morning. Swimming is another great exercise that can reduce the pain caused by arthritis, because it can allow you to move the whole body without any significant impact.
- Don’t push it. If you are on a trip with your family, taking a hike or doing anything active, it is important to know what your limits are. If you start to feel pain, be sure to sit and take a break. You can actually do damage by pushing your body further than it is willing to go. That pain is a signal to take it easy. If you are on a hike, find a soft grass patch and lie down. If you are sightseeing, find a bench and have a snack.
- Quit smoking. Whether you smoke a pipe, cigars, or cigarettes – many tobacco-related products are proven to accelerate the damaging effects of arthritis. So, it might be wise to find a smoking cessation program – or to find a solution to kick the habit. Sometimes the best way is to simply go cold turkey.
- Get a massage. Having arthritis is a perfect excuse to get a massage – your medical insurance might even cover it. Massages can really loosen up the joints and release the pressure that might be causing the swelling and subsequent pain. It is recommended to frequently visit a practiced and licensed massage therapist. Your body will thank you for it.