Top Tips for Managing Arthritis
Uncomfortable arthritis pain can keep you from doing the things you love. If you're suffering from arthritis pain, there are helpful tips for managing your arthritis pain so you can live your life comfortably!
Arthritis affects approximately ninety-two million adults and more than three hundred thousand children in the U.S. alone. The condition is so common it is documented as being the nation’s primary cause of disability. It is also commonly misunderstood as being a single disease, when in fact there are hundreds of various types of arthritis and arthritic conditions in existence. What are some common issues of arthritis among the young and old? What causes arthritis and can it be treated? There are common treatments for arthritis and effective ways to manage the condition. Read ahead for helpful insight and the top tips on managing your arthritis today.
Approximately ninety-two million adults and three hundred thousand children in the U.S. suffer from arthritis or painful arthritic conditions. While some symptoms are mild, others are debilitating in nature due to extreme pain or literal arthritis-based physical limitations. Arthritis attacks in ways both visible and invisible to the naked eye, making many cases hard to detect without X-rays or other medical examinations. In more commonly used terms, arthritis is described as a painful inflammation in one or more joints. Joints afflicted with arthritis are described as feeling swollen, tender, stiff, brittle, restricted in movement and pained.
Treatment, therapy and management plans are employed to the tune of over three hundred billion dollars per year in medical care costs. Those costs also include lost wages due to the inability of some arthritic people to continue working. This is further emphasized by approximately sixty percent of those afflicted with arthritis being of otherwise functional working ages. Between eight and nine percent of all adults in the U.S. suffering from arthritis report limitations in their ability to do their jobs. Most people suffer from more common, less serious issues related to arthritic attacks and conditions, however.
Common Issues of Arthritis in the Young & Old
The most common issue of arthritis in both the young and the old is pain. Arthritis pain is capable of being located anywhere on the body affected by the arthritis, but is most commonly in your joints. Other issues brought on by arthritic conditions include a decrease in mobility and dexterity and the inability to grip/hold items properly. Arthritis is capable of being anywhere from a mild irritant to a serious disability. One issue common to all who suffer from the worst of it is the inability to go to work, earn a living or function in a normal lifestyle anymore. The more serious types of arthritis are capable of affecting even your internal organs. The location of your pain of course varies based on the type of arthritis you have.
Different Types of Arthritis
There are many multiple types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of all. Osteoarthritis forces your cartilage to lose its strength and elasticity. Osteoarthritis is more commonly known as degenerative joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is another common form of the affliction. In this type of arthritis, your immune system is what actually damages your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks begin at the lining of your joints and steadily work their way deeper.
Gout is another type of arthritis. Gout attacks involve sudden and significant pain in your joints, most often starting at the base of your big toe. Lupus is one of the more serious types of arthritis. While both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis both have the potential of spreading and creating harsher symptoms throughout your body, lupus is more likely to also attack your internal organs. Lupus pain also commonly lasts all day, whereas the pain from rheumatoid arthritis frequently dissipates as your day progresses.
What Causes Arthritis?
While some causes of arthritis are well documented and agreed on, various scientists and specialists are still debating others. For example, having high levels of the waste byproduct uric acid in your system is generally agreed to be a cause of gout. Eating too much red meat, however, is thought by some to create arthritic conditions but not by others. Genetic predisposition also plays a potential role as a cause of arthritis. Smoking cigarettes, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, regularly eating an unhealthy diet and failing to exercise all are also considered to be contributing causes of arthritis. It is also possible an injury to your spine, broken bones or other serious injuries are also capable of creating the onset of arthritic tendencies.
Common Treatments for Arthritis
Common treatments for arthritis include medicines, physical therapy, surgery, clinical trials, lifestyle changes and even alternative medicines/treatments. Alternative treatments include Acupuncture and yoga. Medicines include painkillers, steroids and more. Arthritis surgeries include joint fusion, replacement and repair. Lifestyle changes as common treatments for arthritis include changing your diet, increasing your exercise routine, quitting smoking/drinking and getting better rest.
Top Tips for Managing Your Arthritis
The various types of arthritis have a significant impact on many Americans. There are ways to manage arthritis and keep the worst of the symptoms at bay, however. Some top tips for managing your arthritis include:
Eat A Healthy Diet
Get Plenty of Rest
Apply cold or heat treatments
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Get a Massage
Maintain Regular Visits with a Healthcare Provider
1. Keep Fit
It is important to keep fit whether suffering from arthritis or not. It is especially important to keep fit when arthritis is adversely impacting your life. Exercises designed to increase your range of motion, enhance muscle strength, improve your endurance and create better balance are all well suited to help manage your arthritis.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
When you eat a healthy diet you give your body the best chance at staving off the painful and limited effects of arthritis. Red meats, high fat, high sugar and processed foods all create an inflammatory state in your body conducive to increasing the symptoms of arthritis. Raw or mildly cooked fruits and vegetables, especially dark greens and legumes, probiotic yogurts, fish oil, ginger, curry, whole grains and lean proteins are much better choices for reducing the adverse effects of arthritis in your body.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
It is also important to get plenty of good, high quality rest. Getting a good night’s rest on a daily basis helps your body recover and rejuvenate for each next day. Good rest helps your body heal as well. Finally, getting plenty of rest helps your body digest the foods you eat in a daily healthy diet. Proper digestion leads to all consumed nutrients being delivered to the parts of your body needing them the most.
Stress is widely considered a silent killer. Stress also contributes to the existence of toxic and acidic conditions in your body. Toxic and acidic conditions exacerbate the painful effects of arthritis. Meditating is one way of alleviating stress in your mind and body. Engaging in a regular meditation routine every morning and night helps clear your energy field, restore brainpower and help your body fight the symptoms of arthritis.
5. Apply Cold or Heat Treatments
Cold treatments reduce swelling. Heat treatments help stretch out your joints and muscles, allowing for more healing-promoting blood and oxygen flow to take place. Applying cold or heat treatments as needed for your specific arthritic condition(s) potentially helps reduce symptoms. The desired result is to help you function as normally as possible throughout your day.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
It is just as important to maintain a healthy weight, as it is to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest and generally keep fit. In fact, all of these elements work in cooperation with one another to help you fend off arthritis with the best possible results. Maintaining a healthy weight has specific benefits, however. Excess weight puts additional strain on your muscle fibers and joints. It also impedes your digestive and cardiovascular systems from functioning properly. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on your joints and therefore alleviates some arthritis pain. It also promotes the proper and healthy function of all your bodily systems, which in turn helps fend off arthritic attacks.
7. Get a Massage
Getting a massage helps reduce arthritis symptoms by breaking up pockets of toxic lactic acid in your muscles and joints. It also stretches out your muscles and tendons, increasing oxygen and blood flow. A good massage does wonders for clearing out multiple bodily systems of toxic acid and energy. This in turn helps reduce the painful effects or arthritis.
8. Maintain Regular Visits with a Healthcare Provider
Maintain regular visits with a healthcare provider to help reduce and even prevent the onset of arthritis. Physical examinations and laboratory tests help discover issues such as high blood pressure, excessive acidity, high blood sugar, reduced motion, pain and more. Regular checkups help you get ahead of the onset of more serious arthritis symptoms. Doing so allows for preemptive approaches to managing arthritis before it becomes debilitating and adversely impacts the overall quality of your life, including your ability to work and function on a daily basis.