If you are one of the millions of Americans who are currently suffering from joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you understand how restrictive and debilitating this disease can be. Joint pain has many different causes, from local injuries to whole-body illnesses that include it as part of a disease.
Here are some of the tips you can use to reduce inflammation and swelling in your joints and help you live your life more painlessly.
1. Exercising And Staying Active Regularly
Ease your experience with joint pain and arthritis symptoms with simple exercises you can do at home. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “regular physical activity can help relieve adult arthritis pain as effectively as over the counter medications”.
Exercises like walking, biking, swimming, and other water activities such as water aerobics, aqua jogging are all effective ways to ease arthritis pain and are safe for most adults.
2. Hot and Cold Packs
Heat and ice packs can ease inflammation and pain in arthritic joints, even though they are only temporary solutions.
Sore areas are numbed by cold. A sprained ankle or arthritis flare, as well as arthritis pain and swelling, can be treated with it. Inflammation may be reduced by cold by restricting blood flow to the injured area.
Heat packs relax your muscles. The heat dilates blood vessels, bringing more oxygen and blood to the area. Additionally, heat reduces the sensation of pain.
3. Weight Loss
A damaged joint becomes even more stressed when you are overweight. Weight loss can help alleviate some of that pressure, which can ease the pain. “In many ways, diet, exercise, physical therapy, weight loss, and other non-pharmaceutical treatments for OA may be more effective than medication alone,” says Dr. Husa.
Ask your health care provider if it’s OK to start an exercise or diet routine, and what the best way to do it is, he says.
4. Eat A Healthy Diet And Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can adversely affect your joints, as discussed above. Obesity increases your risk of arthritis by up to 15%, according to the CDC. The extra body weight can stress joints, bones, and the overall skeletal structure. Regular exercise and eating healthy can help you lose a few pounds, keeping your joints in better shape.
5. Dietary Supplements
The use of remedies like vitamins and herbs may be a safe and effective way to combat the symptoms of arthritis and joint pain.
Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are good examples. Taking chondroitin – alone or with glucosamine – may result in fewer adverse events than taking a placebo, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in January 2015.
6. Topical Pain-relieving Creams, Gels, And Ointments
NSAIDs that are applied directly to the skin over an aching joint can also relieve pain. And because the ingredients are absorbed through the skin, most topical pain medications are best used on joints that are close to the skin’s surface, such as the joints in your hands and knees.
In addition, they don’t cause gastrointestinal side effects, according to a 2012 study published in Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews.
7. Get a Massage from a Licensed Physical Therapist
The goal of physical therapy (PT) is to get you moving safely and effectively. Joint pain and knee pain can be greatly reduced with the help of a professional physical therapist. Be sure to let your therapist know which part of your body is causing you pain.
The goals of Physical Therapy for arthritis includes improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints, increasing strength to support the joints, maintaining fitness and preserving the ability to perform daily activities.
There are a great number of arthritis treatment options you can choose from to manage your pain, so don’t despair – you won’t have to muddle along without relief. It may take a few tries to find out which arthritis treatment is the best for you.