Ten great ways to relieve the pain of arthritis

Arthritis refers to a disorder in which one or more of your joints is inflamed. The central symptom of the condition is joint pain stiffness, which unfortunately get worse as you age. However, there are multiple ways to relieve a lot of the suffering that arthritis causes. Here are some of these strategies.

1. Exercise. The Mayo Clinic, a leading facility in arthritis treatment, notes that physical movement can reduce your pain, increase your range of motion, build your muscles, and improve your endurance. Be sure to concentrate on activities that force you to stretch and avoid the following: running, jumping, high-impact aerobics, tennis, and repetitive movements (i.e. throwing a baseball or tennis serves).

2. Massages. As the Arthritis Foundation points out massage, “brings warmth and relaxation to painful areas.” You can massage yourself or hire a professional massage therapist (with your doctor’s recommendation).

3. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts incredible pressure on your joints so you should strive to eat well and exercise. But avoid losing weight too rapidly. Gradual weight loss does not shock your joints.

4. Do not smoke! Smoking puts a lot of stress on your connective tissues and, in turn, makes your pain worse. Avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible.

5. Write a journal. This “emotional release,” the Mayo Clinic says, “can result in decreased sensation of pain.” If you do not like writing, find a friend, family member or a mental health professional with whom you could share your feelings. Do not allow your emotions to fester inside of you!

6. Use heat and coldness. According to the Arthritis Foundation, cold packs numb the painful area and lessen inflammation, as well as swelling. On the other hand, heat “relaxes your muscles” and promotes blood circulation. You may wish to use dry heat, like heating pads, or moist heat, like warm washcloths.

7. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Such therapies will ensure that negative thoughts do not deflate you. Indeed, to reduce your pain, as the Mayo Clinic explains, you must avoid self-defeating behaviours.

8. Relax. Arthritis brings both physical and emotional strain. Most notably, the latter tightens your muscles, increases your heart rate, and makes dealing with pain difficult. Talk to friends. Take time off from doing strenuous things. Try yoga. Make time for yourself. Laugh.

9. Medicate. Talk to your doctor about pain-relieving medication. While most pain relievers are safe, they may have adverse side effects. Your doctor should help you establish a medication strategy.

10. Adjust your daily routines. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following minor changes:

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Related articles: 

Resistance Training 

Fighting Inflammation with Food

Physical Aspects of Senior Life: Exercise and Fitness 

Overweight Boomers Risk Serious Illness

Do you have any other strategies for arthritis relief?  Share them in the Comments section below.

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