Fixing Rusty Joints: 7 Pain Management Strategies For Arthritis
Arthritis affects one-fifth of the American population. The majority of arthritis sufferers are working adults. For some people who have arthritis, just getting through the day can be a challenge.
But you don’t have to give up the activities you enjoy. And you shouldn’t have to suffer through debilitating pain during the normal workday.
Although most types of arthritis can’t be cured, there are many treatments available. These vary from lifestyle choices to medication, to alternative treatments. With one or many of these pain management strategies, it’ll be much easier to get through the day.
Say goodbye to chronic pain with these seven strategies for arthritis pain management.
1. Manage Stress
Your emotions and mental state have a significant impact on how the body experiences pain. There is, in fact, a clear link between depression and chronic pain. Negative emotions make you more susceptible to pain and intensify its effects.
Although arthritis isn’t just in your head, a healthy head space can reduce the discomfort you feel. That’s why stress management is an important part of treating chronic pain.
Try a variety of different stress management strategies. These might be yoga, meditation, or even something simple like a nightly ritual.
If you’re still having trouble with stress, consider cognitive behavioral therapy. This mental treatment teaches you how to re-interpret negative thoughts into positive ones.
2. The Best Pain Management Strategies? Low-Impact Workouts
Working out is a key part of arthritis management. It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise provides pain relief for arthritis. What’s the secret?
By staying active, you’ll improve the flexibility of your sore joints and keep them stretched. This can go a long way in reducing the amount of pain you experience on a daily basis.
But not every workout was created equal. Stick to workouts that are easy on the joints. These are activities like yoga, pilates, or even cycling.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Want to know how to relieve arthritis pain? Drop the weight. By now, everyone knows the health benefits of maintaining healthy body weight.
But it’s even more important for those who suffer from arthritis. The extra weight puts stress on your joints. Since joints are the source of arthritis pain, the additional strain can make things worse.
Low-impact workouts do not burn as many calories as their high-intensity counterparts. Because your exercise ability is hampered, it’s important to stay on a strict diet.
In addition to regular, low-impact exercise, shy away from carbs and stick to filling proteins and vegetables. And remember to stay hydrated.
4. Talk to a Physical Therapist
Depending on the extent of your arthritis pain, you may want to seek out a physical therapist. While exercise is helpful, a physical therapist can create a specialized routine that works for you. This will directly target the source of your pain and strengthen your inflamed joints.
They can also provide suggestions for small lifestyle changes. This might be related to your posture or the type of furniture you use in your home.
5. Use Support Braces for Arthritis
A physical therapist may suggest support braces. But you can also get them yourself. How do they work?
Braces serve two roles. First, they’ll ensure you keep your limb in a healthy posture. But more importantly, the brace will shift some of the stress off your affected joints.
Support braces can lead to immediate pain reduction. And they aren’t just for knees. You can find different types of braces for nearly any body part.
If even low-impact exercise is too uncomfortable, arthritis support braces may be able to help. Visit this website to find a variety of popular braces.
6. Take Arthritis Medication
You have two options when it comes to arthritis pain medication. For low to moderate pain, over-the-counter medications may be a great choice. Aspirins will reduce the pain, but they won’t do anything to assist with joint swelling.
Instead, you should try anti-inflammatory options. Since these can treat the swelling, they oftentimes provide more powerful pain reduction. You may find these over-the-counter medications as either oral pills or topical creams.
But if these medications aren’t powerful enough for your pain, you should speak to your doctor. They have potent prescription treatments. Some of these are controlled substances, so keep in mind that this type of medication can carry risks.
7. Try Alternative Treatments
The best way to treat arthritis is to take a well-rounded approach. If medication alone is not doing the job, or you’d like to avoid it, then treatments are still available.
For example, certain supplements have been shown to provide pain relief. Capsaicin can overheat pain receptors, which will temporarily reduce the pain you experience.
Likewise, fish oil is a popular anti-inflammatory choice.
If you’re not looking for supplements, consider aromatherapy. Even the Arthritis Foundation vouches for its effects.
Acupuncture is another option. The practice causes a release of endorphins. This will, for a time, make you feel better.
Alternative treatments may work for some, but not for others. When your normal arthritis pain management is not enough, consider some of these options.
Alleviate Arthritis Pain for Good
With so many pain management strategies available, why deal with arthritis? For some, an occasional topical cream may be enough to keep pain at bay. But others may need a more comprehensive approach.
When you encounter discomfort from your arthritis, are you doing enough to treat it? With stress management and regular exercise, you’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Powerful medications and alternative treatments are available when those aren’t enough.
If you’re looking for more health advice, dive into our blog to find more.