If you suffer from arthritis, you are not alone. According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 50 million Americans already know how painful joint inflammation is. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for arthritis, but there are some simple ways to get some relief from the daily discomfort.
Control Your Weight
Excess weight puts stress on your joints. The more weight you gain, the more weight your knees, hips and feet have to carry. If you are presently overweight, making small but permanent changes to your lifestyle can help to ease your arthritis pain. Healthy loss of excess weight will improve your overall mobility while preventing future damage to your joints.
Get More Exercise
Thirty minutes of low-impact exercise a day can ease joint pain, improve your mobility, and give you even more benefits, like boosting your mood! Walk, run, swim, or cycle, but check with your doctor before kicking it into high gear. Try to vary your regimen to get the best results, and always stretch before you start. Don’t exercise when your joints are inflamed, and don’t overdo it. If you’re in pain for more than an hour after you exercise, slow down and ease into it the next time.
Get More Sleep
Arthritis and sleep have a touchy relationship. It’s a vicious circle: you have trouble sleeping because of your arthritis, but the pain is only getting worse because you’re not getting enough sleep. Everyone has different sleep needs, but most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about ways to control your arthritis pain so that you can start getting more quality sleep.
Get Up and Go
Want more energy? You won’t get it from spending the day on the couch. You need to get up and move around. Using your joints actually helps to ease pain, and the less active you are, the more stiffness and discomfort you’ll feel. Walking is a great place to start, and adding to your daily distance will increase your stamina. Getting in the water is one of the best ways to alleviate arthritis pain – and if you can walk to the pool, that’s even better.
Hot and Cold Therapy
One of the simplest ways to address arthritis pain is to take a long, warm shower or bath. This can be especially effective if you do it in the morning, and moist heating pads or an electric blanket will help your joints to stay loose overnight. Wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables or a gel ice pack in a towel and applying it to a troublesome joint can help ease pain quickly.
Add Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to maintain optimum health, and they may also be helpful in decreasing arthritis pain. Fatty acids have similar properties to some anti-inflammatory drugs. You can get fatty acids by taking supplements, or you can add foods like salmon that naturally contain these fats. You’ll need to add substantial amounts of these fatty acids to start feeling any pain relief benefits. Check with your doctor before adding any supplements or significantly changing your diet.