Simple, Everyday Things You Can Do to Reduce Arthritis Pain
In the US alone, 23 percent of adults or about 54 million people live with arthritis. Anyone who has the condition knows just how debilitating the pain and the stiffness can be.
Is it possible to maintain a healthy, active and dynamic lifestyle while having arthritis? The short answer is yes. Lifestyle changes and a proper diet can both contribute to significant improvements in the condition. Needless to say, some management approaches will deliver much better results than others.
Let’s discuss diet first.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, the so-called Mediterranean diet can prove to be beneficial for arthritis sufferers.
The Mediterranean diet is high in fish, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, legumes and beneficial oils like olive oil, for example. Dairy and meat are a part of it but the consumption is limited (and the quality of products matters, these need to be carefully curated). The components of the Mediterranean diet work really well for arthritis suffers because they’re jam-packed with anti-inflammatory substances like Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.
Wholegrains and nightshade vegetables can be incorporated in an arthritis fighting diet, as well.
Anyone who has arthritis could also consider reducing the intake of certain inflammatory foods and beverages. Some of these include all foods that contain added sugar or gluten, processed meats like sausages, foods high in salt, foods high in advanced glucation end products (usually high protein, high fat foods of animal origin) and alcohol.
Apart from diet changes, a couple of lifestyle adjustments could also help for the better management of the chronic condition.
Gentle movement is always a good idea. It keeps the joints moving, which means that stiffness will be reduced significantly.
Daily stretches and slow walks can be very beneficial. It’s very important, however, to know one’s limits. Pushing the body beyond what feels comfortable is not going to deliver arthritis relief.
As far as exercise goes, progressive strength training and low-impact aerobic exercise are both great. The same applies to swimming – it strengthens the entire body and builds muscle without impacting joints in a negative way. Avoid activities like running, jumping, very high impact aerobics, tennis and soccer. All of these activities can put a lot of strain on the joints.
For anyone dealing with arthritis pain, heat application will be a good and safe idea.
Relaxing baths and warm compresses will result in temporary pain relief. Using heat pads for up to 20 minutes at a time is another approach recommended by professionals.
Heat in combination with massages will be even better for arthritis relief. A high quality massage administered by a professional will typically result in temporary stiffness reduction.
The final thing to remember is that keeping stress under control can be exceptionally important for overall health improvement. Not only that, reducing stress can also bring down the inflammatory response that makes arthritis symptoms worse.
Learn how to decompress, especially if you’re still working or you face stressful responsibilities. Meditation, art, music, watching a favorite music or doing activities with the grandkids can all be great ways to decompress.
Introducing such lifestyle and diet changes usually takes time. A gradual process is perfectly ok. Improvements will be noticeable right off the bat and the more integrated the new lifestyle becomes, the better the outcome is going to be.