Arthritis is an unfortunately common complication in this day and age. And, currently, there are no known cures for the inflammatory disease, leaving those who have it to try and manage these pains themselves. For some, this can be heartbreaking, affecting motivation, daily movement, and even the drive to take care of yourself — these things only further impact your health. So, what can you do? Are there proven ways of managing arthritis?
Yes, thankfully, there are. As long as you take the time to find what treatments work best for you, there’s a good chance you’ll learn how to manage your arthritis pain. But, if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. Today, we’re discussing five proven ways to manage arthritis, most of which you can do right from the comfort of your home. Let’s get started.
Arthritis, in general, is a complicated disorder that has various misconceptions. First, we need to establish that there isn’t just one type of arthritis. Instead, “arthritis” is often used as an umbrella term to encompass the over 100 different types of arthritis medical professionals have discovered.
However, we should mention that not all types of arthritis are treated the same way. On the same note, not all types of arthritis manifest the same, resulting in different symptoms and reactions. Thus, it’s important to sit down with your doctor and have a discussion about the specific type of arthritis you have and whether or not these treatments are right for you. After all, you and your doctor know your body better than practically anybody else.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of people assume arthritis only occurs in the elderly. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, there are specific types of arthritis that only occur in children, teenagers, and young adults, debunking this idea completely. While it is more common for those of older ages to get arthritis, this simply isn’t always the case. Again, with over 100 different known types of arthritis, you’re bound to come across people of all ages.
For the rest of this article, we will be using the term “arthritis” simply to encompass the disease as a whole. But, this by no means discredits the specific forms of arthritis that may act uniquely of other types; instead, it just makes it a bit easier to connect with a wider range of people. That being said, let’s start talking about how you can manage arthritis.
As a whole, managing arthritis pains is going to be a unique process for you and only you. As we’re sure you’re aware, our bodies are all vastly different. With these individualized systems, how the body reacts to specific treatments is going to vary from person to person, just as it would with any other medication. Thus, when learning to manage your arthritis pain, you have to know what works for you.
Though this can be a bit frustrating, trial and error may be vital in helping you regain control of your health and wellness. For some, simply keeping on top of exercise and nutrients can do wonders for their daily aches and pains. On the flip side, others may require a more holistic approach, finding relief in movement paired with doctor treatments and special diets. It simply depends! Just keep in mind that if one of our options on the list doesn’t quite work for you, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. It only means you’ll want to try out something else.
As much as we’d love for arthritis treatments to be one-size-fits-all, this isn’t the case. However, as long as you persevere and continue trying options, there’s a good chance you’ll come across something that can provide relief. And, if you’re worried about the money aspect, you shouldn’t. For the most part, many of these treatments are in your hands, able to be done from home and practically free of cost.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten all of that other stuff out of the way, let’s focus on these pain-relieving options. Again, we must stress that these choices may not work for all types of arthritis, nor every person; but, medical professionals have proved these options to help manage arthritis pains. The only way to find out if they work for you is to try them for yourself!
So, what are some of the best, proven methods to manage your arthritis pains? Here are just five of our favorites. (Though, do keep in mind that treatment options span much further than this list.)
Any doctor will tell you that one of the most significant ways of combating your arthritis pains is through daily movement or exercise. Because arthritis is an inflammatory disorder, it causes severe swelling, tenderness, and pain in the muscles and joints. This kind of discomfort can make it quite challenging to want to be active, likely keeping you glued to your couch or bed whenever possible. Unfortunately, refusing to work through these pains may only make your arthritis worsen. Instead, you have to fight these tense, stiff muscles head-on.
Don’t panic: we’re not asking you to become a bodybuilder overnight. But, incorporating a bit of movement in your daily routines can be incredible for alleviating arthritis pains. We understand that this may be a bit difficult at first — or uncomfortable, at least — but that’s why we ask that you always start slow. If you experience pain through exercise, begin with just a simple stroll around your neighborhood. Only go as far as your body will allow, and call it good. Then, each day, you can try to add a bit more movement. The more you do it, the easier it will become over time.
When you grant your body movement and exercise, you’re giving your muscles the chance to fight back against this inflammation. The more you move, the more strength you’ll gain. This strength helps to support your body, taking away some of the potential pain of the inflammation. Not to mention, exercising itself releases endorphins, which are known for reducing pain and boosting pleasure senses.
Endorphins are absolutely key in managing chronic pain, but it’s something that’s often lacking for those couch-locked, depressed, and hurting. But that’s precisely why we start slow. We don’t do anything our bodies aren’t comfortable with, but we should try going out of our comfort zone just a bit to give ourselves some much-needed movement. Get that blood flowing, heart pumping, and muscles loosened! When you do this every day, there’s a good chance you’ll start to notice your pain levels decrease, even just a tad.
Another great way of naturally managing your arthritis pains is to watch your weight. The more weight you have on your body, the more difficult it’s going to be for your bones and joints to support you. These are the areas where arthritic inflammation targets most, leaving you with higher levels of pain than you should. However, if you work to rid some of that excess weight, this takes that pressure off your joints and away from that dreaded inflammation.
We know that losing weight is much easier said than done, but it can be vital in helping you regain your health in circumstances like these. As you’ll see, a lot of these options can be done in tandem with one another, giving you even more relief. As we mentioned above, when you add exercise into your routines, that can easily help you start to lose some weight, too! So, not only will you be building your strength, but you’ll likely be losing fat, as well. The combination is remarkable for aiding with arthritis pains.
If you want help losing weight, make sure to sit down with your doctor and discuss what your best options are. You two may be able to come up with the perfect exercise and diet plan to get your body where it needs to be. Just don’t be afraid to reach out.
When it comes to arthritis, there isn’t one particular diet that everybody needs to follow. Following the theme of the rest of the piece, your diet options depend on you! However, if you have arthritis, eating the right foods and consuming adequate nutrients are essential in alleviating some of these aches and pains and helping you feel a little more in control.
Surprisingly enough, there are many foods in our everyday diets that naturally relieve inflammation and provide healthy nutrients. Foods like fatty fish, ginger, broccoli, spinach, berries, grapes, and even olive oil are all packed with vitamins and nutrients capable of reducing high levels of inflammation in the body. Of course, these foods aren’t going to eliminate the inflammation arthritis causes completely, but they can help reduce the overall pain levels, making everything else more manageable.
If you have arthritis, be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. You don’t want to be consuming anything that will cause adverse reactions in the end — especially when so many great foods out there are wildly beneficial. Take the time to consume nutrient-rich foods, and, studies show, these diet changes will likely pay off in lower inflammation levels, reduced pain, and overall feelings of contentment.
If all-natural, at-home treatments aren’t your cup of tea, that’s okay. You can always make an appointment with your doctor to see what kind of medical options you have available. Many people opt for treatments like joint injections or specific medications to help ease the pain from their arthritis. These options may be more pricey than the at-home options, but they provide immediate, quite substantial relief for most people who try them.
You and your primary care physician can work out both a treatment plan and financial plan for these services if you desire. Then, continue seeing your physician throughout your treatments so you guys can stay up-to-date on what’s working and what’s not. Having this line of communication is ideal for a patient and doctor relationship, as you’re consistently ensuring the best for your complications.
Make sure you speak to a physician who is qualified and comfortable in the field of arthritis. As we discussed, there are various types of arthritis, so your doctor must be familiar with these differences. Specialists can do wonders for situations like these, so don’t be afraid to find a physician that works in this field specifically.
Finally, if you want to manage your arthritis adequately, you need to be kind to yourself. As we mentioned above, you should not start by pushing yourself to your limits to get some exercise or starving yourself of all your favorite foods. Instead, make sure you start slow and only do what feels good. After all, isn’t that what all of this is about? Making sure you feel your best?
If you find that something isn’t working, don’t beat yourself up for it. There are a lot of different treatment options out there, and there’s bound to be something that brings you relief. When you’re kind to yourself throughout this process, your body will be kind back. Provide yourself with adequate nutrients to keep you going and enough water to keep your joints lubricated and moving smoothly. Add this with some daily walks or maybe a bit of gentle yoga over time, and the potential for pain relief is astronomical.
The biggest thing we want you to take away from this is that managing your arthritis pains doesn’t have to be this impossible task. We understand that, sometimes, these pains can feel like their taking over your life, making it challenging to do even the simplest things. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. The first step, though, is acknowledging that changes have to be made and that you must commit to these changes if you want to see progress.
Though difficult at times, making these lifestyle adjustments are still much easier than dealing with full-blown arthritis pains all throughout the day. It’s essential to go into this with the notion that managing your pain is doable — because it totally is! Don’t let your arthritis take control. Instead, find ways to regain that control and enjoy your liveliness again.
At the end of the day, managing your arthritis is all about discovering what works best for you. The options we provided were only the start of the ways you can work to regulate your arthritis pain, and you and your doctor can continue discussing options if none of these work for you. However, stick with a positive mindset, open your mind, and maybe try switching up your daily routine just a bit. By adding in that extra walk, those added nutrients, or even that medication you’ve been avoiding trying, you never know what kind of improvement you’ll see in your quality of life.