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Arthritis Pain - These Lifestyle Changes will help you Manage it

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Dipak Jhaveri 89% (294 ratings)
MD, MBBS
Pain Management Specialist, Vadodara  •  35 years experience
Arthritis Pain - These Lifestyle Changes will help you Manage it

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:

  1. Chronic pain
  2. Stiffness
  3. Swelling
  4. Limb deformities
  5. 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:

Everyday routine

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

Medication

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.

Exercise

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:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Tennis
  • 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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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