Different types of arthritis have different causes, such as wear and tear, infections, and other underlying diseases. Symptoms of arthritis can include but are not limited to pain, swelling, stiffness, and even limited range of motion. Treatment can range from medications, physical therapy, even surgery. While there is no cure for arthritis and the condition can be uncomfortable—even painful—to live with, there are ways to make living with arthritis better. Follow some of these tips to see what works for you!
- Don’t Get Disjointed
Whether you are standing, sitting, or face daily activity, pay attention to your joints. Try to get in the habit of doing gentle stretches daily that keep your joints moving through their full range of motion. Know your limits and operate within them, because if you push too hard you could harm yourself or cause further joint pain. This also extends to not overdoing yourself, so make sure you are balancing your activity and rest. Listen to what your body needs in the moment and respond respectfully and kindly to what you require.
- Get Moving!
Movement can actually decrease the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. It can also improve your range of motion, increase endurance, and strengthen muscles. However, you need to make sure you choose the right kinds of activities. These will be exercises that can build up the muscle around your joints but not damage them in the process. Stretching and progressive strength training are options as well as low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, or walking. Check with your occupational or physical therapist to see what exercise regimen is right for you. Be sure to avoid high-impact aerobics or exercises with repetitive motions, such as tennis.
- Hot and Cold
Take care of your joints with heat. Apply a heating pad to your aching joints or enjoy a hot bath or shower. Some people have even found benefits of immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax as a way to temporarily relieve pain. Just make sure you do not burn yourself in the process! You will also want to avoid using a heating pad for more than 20 minutes at a time. Cold also has its benefits when it comes to your arthritis. You can use ice packs to relieve sore muscles, or pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise or flare ups.
What NOT to Do
There is also plenty to avoid when treating arthritis. If you are medicating your conditions, make sure you are not overdoing or under-medicating your symptoms. Be honest about your pain with your doctor so you can have the best possible care. Toxins in smoking can cause stress on connective tissues, leading to more issues with your joints. Most importantly? Try to keep a positive attitude and be good to yourself. You may feel powerless when it comes to your pain, but you are not. Keeping your mindset clear and positive can relieve the stress that comes with arthritis. There are several options available to you when it comes to treating your arthritis. There are physical and occupational therapists and doctors that will help you find the path that is right for you. Stay open-minded for all the ways you can start treating your arthritis.
If you have arthritis or think you are exhibiting any symptoms, call the team at the Bass Medical Group. Our doctors have experience treating all types of arthritis symptoms and can recommend the best treatment for you. Call (925) 350-4044 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today.