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Arthritis is a musculoskeletal disease defined by chronic inflammations in the joint and cartilage degradation. It is a fairly common disease, and the pain caused by arthritis can be extremely disabling. If you leave arthritis untreated, it can lead to:
- Chronic pain
- Limb deformities
- Disabled scope of motion
These symptoms can hinder your daily life, thus learning how to live with, and managing arthritis becomes important. Here are some lifestyle changes you can adopt to manage pain better:
Small things you can do every day, while you are sitting or working, such as:
- Frequently adjust your position
- Stretch and bend your legs, change your hand’s position and tilt your neck periodically from one side to another
- Don’t overuse a lone joint because that can cause more pain—so pace yourself and take adequate breaks
- Walk around and stand every hour or a half.
In addition to these, you must:
- Manage your weight: Obesity has been linked to arthritis; the more weight you put on, the more your pain will increase.
- Quit smoking: Connective tissues are stressed when you smoke, and this triggers more pain
There are a number of medications available in the market today to ease arthritis pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen or acetaminophen are great for pain relief. Also, topical creams that contain analgesics can be gently massaged over inflamed joints to ease the pain.
However, you should avoid the following:
- Over treatment: If you find yourself depending too heavily on OTC, consult your doctor.
- Under-treatment: Never ignore or undermine your pain. Leaving arthritis untreated is potentially dangerous, and you may require immediate medication.
If you have arthritis, exercise can boost your endurance, enhance your muscles and better your motion range. For best results, focus on gradual strength training, range-of-motion exercises and stretching. You can also include low-stress aerobics, water exercises, cycling or walking.
However, avoid repetitive and high impact exercises, such as:
- High-stress aerobics
Emotional and physical assimilation
The pain is not only physically exhausting; it can also strain you mentally. Choose relaxation or cognitive behaviour therapy (an integration of behaviour modification and talk therapy) to keep negative thoughts at bay. Besides these, you can also use acupuncture, heat and cold therapy and massages to ease the pain.
The number of allergens are many and knowing what triggers your allergies can get complicated. The common triggers that are known to trigger allergic rhinitis are:
- Pollen, the most common cause for allergies
- Dust mites, and the faeces of dust mites that can cause severe allergic reactions
- Animal dander, which includes cat hair, dog fur, and may also include little flakes of skin
Avoiding the above mentioned triggers is more of a general guideline for the management of allergies. The lifestyle changes that you make to manage allergies:
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drink about eight to ten glasses of water every day. This will allow the mucous to be expelled with ease, if you experience any nose block.
- During seasons like spring, when the amount of pollen in the air is at its maximum, limit your exposure. Try to stay indoors to avoid exposure to pollen or dust in the air.
- Make it a point to take a shower before going to sleep as the residues of pollen and dust stuck to your skin are likely to make your symptoms worse.
- Use fresh bedding and clothes every day. This will help to reduce your exposure to allergens.
- Remove your carpets. Carpets are home to dust mites and pollen grains which become difficult to remove even with vacuum cleaners. Remove the carpets during the allergy season, and replace with hard flooring.
- Keep windows and doors shut to avoid dust and pollen grains from entering the house and possibly causing allergies.
- Avoid staying around pets. It that is not possible, then wash them at least once a week to reduce allergies.
- Prevent inhaling cigarette smoke or smoking cigarettes. The smoke can be very harmful and can increase the risk of asthma in kids.
- Avoid outdoor trips during seasons when the pollen count is high.