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Smart tips on how to improve arthritis symptoms

  • Category: Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA
Smart tips on how to improve arthritis symptoms

Arthritis symptoms can be both hindered or improved through habits that we fall into. Here are some smart tips to help improve the way you feel overall in your day to day life and some actions to avoid if you do suffer from Arthritis.

  1. Lose weight: Extra weight puts added pressure on joints, especially knees, hips and feet. In fact, according to Webmd: “a new study shows that for each pound of body weight lost, there is a four-pound reduction in knee joint stress among overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee.” Losing weight is no small feat when your body is aching so being mindful of moving more and remember the quality of your nutritional habits becomes more valuable!
  2. Move more: Regular movement (aka: exercise) helps to maintain flexibility in the joints. Keep yourself moving by doing low impact exercise that avoids pounding the joints, such as running. Try low impact exercises like water aerobics, cycling, Pilates, Yoga or swimming instead. Also, avoid these exercises: deep squatting or lunges, high impact sports, stairs, and other repetitive motions. Also, please note that if you are experiencing swelling, sharp pain or pain that causes you to limp or change the way you move, avoid exercise. If the pain persists or includes redness and heat at the site, see your doctor. Staying in motion will still be important, but should be guided by a professional.
  3. Use hot and cold to your advantage: Heat can help alleviate the stiffness associated with arthritis and ease joint pain. Take long, warm showers or baths. Hand wash dishes in warm water to keep your fingers moving with ease. Make bean or rice hot pads you can microwave and use at home or work for a quick dose of heat relief. If you experience swelling and inflammation, use frozen vegetables in a towel as an ice pack for pain reduction.
  4. Try acupuncture: Acupuncture can help with circulation and reduce inflammation from arthritis. This complementary therapy can work hand-in-hand with traditional western medicinal therapies, without side effects. You can find relief in this traditional eastern medicine from an acupuncturist, and some physical therapists are even offering similar treatments now. Massage therapy can also be a great option to fight pain, stiffness and even improve range of motion.
  5. Eat turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow spice that is commonly a flavor of Indian dishes and has a pain fighting chemical called curcumin that can help alleviate arthritis pain. This wonder spice and the curcumin have anti-inflammatory properties! Before you add the spice or begin using any over the counter pain relievers, visit with your pharmacist. It’s important to ensure that any medications you are currently taking won’t interact with herbal supplements.
  6. Limit your stress and worrying: Researchers aren’t sure exactly how stress can bring on arthritis symptoms, but recent research implies that high levels of stress can disturb sleep, cause high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and can contribute to other illnesses. As stress builds, the body releases chemicals into the blood stream that are intended to help fight stressful events. Eventually these chemicals can cause damage to the body if they aren’t “burned off” over time. Work on reducing stress in your life to limit these harmful effects and pain from arthritis. Try meditation, work with a counselor or confide in a friend. Limit your exposure to stressful situations and keep life simple as possible.

Sources:

  1. Verywell Health—The Effect of Stress on Arthritis: Stress Compounds the Burden of Chronic Disease
  2. Healthline: Natural Relief From Arthritis Pain

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health's Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.

Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist