As arthritis sufferers, we’re no stranger to the convenience and relief that popping painkillers can have for our symptoms. However, there are numerous things that you can do to manage your pain so that you don’t have to rely solely on your medication.
Below are some of the methods that we’ve tried and have proven to be fairly effective. And as always, if you have more to add to this list, please feel free to share it with us in the comment section.
Get a tailored exercise program
While exercising isn’t entirely possible all the time given your condition, you can’t deny the benefits that physical activity provides arthritis sufferers. Apart from helping you maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise can strengthen muscles and improve overall fitness. So whenever possible, we strongly encourage people to speak to their physicians so they can find the right exercise program given their limitations.
Often, you’ll be given exercise programs that are low impact such as swimming, yoga, or water aerobics.
Applying hot and cold compress
Applying heat to an inflamed or stiff joint can help stimulate blood flow to the affected area. Try it by warming up a hot pack in the microwave and gently pressing it on the joint to relax the muscles.
On the other hand, a cold compress can reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels, which help disrupt pain sensations.
Getting a gentle massage
If you experience chronic symptoms, regular massages can help manage pain and joint stiffness. Additionally, because massages are relaxing, it can also help promote better sleep—a common problem among arthritis sufferers.
Make sleep a priority
Sleeping through the night can be challenging for a lot of arthritis sufferers, but a full night’s sleep can do a lot towards alleviating your symptoms. Quality sleep means your body is able to heal from the day’s activities, which help manage fatigue and alleviate your symptoms. Even something as simple as closing your eyes at night however is difficult when you experience physical discomfort and pain 24/7, so you have to consciously make an effort to rest and relax. Aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep whenever you can. Apart from medication, deep breathing exercises and meditation work to ease the stress of handling arthritis symptoms.
Acupuncture is a centuries old technique that helps improve blood flow and general health. Anecdotal evidence suggests that acupuncture has therapeutic benefits and relieve symptoms for arthritis sufferers.
People in general should make it a point to eat healthy, but a well-balanced diet could go a long way for anyone who suffers from arthritis. Certain foods increase the risk of complications, while others help protect your joints and prevent inflammation. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight means you put less pressure on your joints.
Using aids and tools
Sometimes, there are days when you just need that extra support or help because the symptoms are just too much. Walking aids, assistive tools, and compression sleeves are useful and effective ways to help make things easier for arthritis sufferers. Don’t be afraid to try them.
Arthritis can be a difficult disease with numerous complicated and even complicated manifestations. Medications are certainly useful ways to manage the symptoms, but along with your prescribed pills, a fair knowledge of therapeutic alternatives, a healthy lifestyle, and a supportive network of family and friends help make it easier.