Living with arthritis brings a plethora of difficulties and, for many sufferers, carrying out everyday tasks can be challenging.
Thankfully there are many things you can do to make everyday tasks around the home, and while out and about, much easier.
Follow our top tips for managing the pain and difficulties associated with your arthritis.
Regular exercise appears in almost all health advice, and for good reason. Our bodies are designed to move and, even with limited mobility, they will almost always benefit from regular physical activity.
- Exercise for arthritis sufferers can:
- Improve blood flow to the joints, allowing easier movement
- Strengthen muscle groups around the joints to offer better support
- Increase mobility and flexibility
Lower impact exercises beneficial for arthritis sufferers include:
- Cycling or at-home pedal cycler
- Walking (with or without mobility aids)
- Strength and mobility exercises with stress balls or digiballs and exercise bands
Hot and cold therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation. These can be used as a regular treatment at home, and some can be used while out and about as well.
Heat treatments are great for relieving stiff and sore joints. Try using a hot/cold pack or perhaps take a long, warm shower or bath. You could also use an electric blanket, heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
Cold treatments can also help to relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation caused by arthritis. Applying a simple cold pack to painful joints can be really effective for quick relief. However, do make sure you never apply ice directly to the skin.
Occupational therapists sometimes recommend arthritis gloves to help with the symptoms of stiff and painful hands. Gloves either provide thermal capacity (i.e. heat) or a light compression which helps to ease pain and swelling. Most users find that they can wear the gloves all day to keep their hands mobile and help with getting on with work and daily activities.
Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints, especially your knees, hips, and feet. So with more weight, your symptoms will tend to increase and you will often find that there is more joint pain to deal with.
Reducing the stress on your joints by losing some weight can help:
- improve your mobility
- decrease pain
- prevent future damage to your joints
If you are very overweight you might want to have a talk with your GP who can support you with a steady weight loss programme. Going it alone can be incredibly difficult and the NHS weight loss programme has proven results.
Eating a healthy diet will not only help you to lose weight, but more fruit, vegetables and whole grains will actually increase your immune system and improve your overall health.
Dropping red meat and processed foods, and replacing them with more plant-based food will have a significant effect on the inflammation in your body and can, thus, help to lessen the symptoms associated with arthritis and joint pain.
Remember to talk to your doctor before trying any remedy for arthritis, whether it involves medication or not.
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