Arthritis is not an uncommon condition to have. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52.5 million adults in the United States suffer from arthritis. In addition to pain in your joints, you may also experience fatigue, muscle weakness and stiffness. Although there is no cure for this disease, you can manage it. Here are seven effective ways to cope with arthritis:
Get Your Exercise
When your joints are aching, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. However, regular physical activity can actually have a positive effect on your arthritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, exercise can strengthen your muscles, improve your balance and reduce stiffness in your joints. It is best to participate in low-impact exercises that do not hurt your joints, such as swimming, walking and bicycling. You should aim to exercise 150 minutes a week and take things slowly at first. If you are finding it difficult to get started, you should try exercising with a friend or family member.
Take a Warm Bath
Heat reduces inflammation, so taking a warm bath can help ease your arthritis pain. The next time your joints ache, just soak in your bathtub for at least 20 minutes or so. When you get out, your joints should feel a lot better.
Being overweight doesn't just increase your risk of several chronic diseases; it can also make your arthritis pain much worse. When you are carrying around extra pounds, it can put a lot of pressure on the joints in your back, knees and hips. Losing even a few pounds can take some of the stress off and lessen the pain. To lose weight safely, cut junk food out of your diet and eat more nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.
Give Acupuncture a Chance
If you are looking for a natural way to ease your arthritis pain, you should think about acupuncture. During this ancient practice, thin needles will be inserted into certain parts of your body, reducing pain. Make sure you only have a licensed acupuncturist perform acupuncture on your body.
Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet
Another way you can manage your arthritis pain is to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation in your body, which can decrease arthritis pain. Besides fatty fish, you can find omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil, walnuts and flaxseed.
When you start to feel pain in your joints, you should try meditating for 10 minutes. Meditation can relax your body and help you deal with the pain better. Just sit in a quiet room and focus your mind on one object in the room. Meditating can take the stress away and help you forget about the pain.
Use Assistive Devices
When you suffer from arthritis, there is no shame in using assistive devices. For example, if you have trouble walking around, you could use a cane or put braces on your legs. To make things easier in the kitchen, use an electric jar opener and use pans and pots that have handles on both sides. It is also a good idea to get a bedroom lamp that turns on and off by the sound of your voice.
Living with arthritis is certainly not easy all the time, but it does not have to be unbearable to live with. If you follow these helpful tips, coping with this condition will be much simpler. However, if the pain is still too intense, you should talk to your doctor, someone like Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of South Jersey, about other options.