7 Ways to Manage Your Arthritis

Do You Suffer From Arthritis?

It starts with a minor ache. You notice that your grocery bags feel heavier than in the past, despite them being light. Your knees begin to hurt when it rains. Your joints are slowly getting worse, and you’ve been ignoring the signs for too long.

There’s a chance you could be developing arthritis. At least 1.5 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks its own joints.

And while there isn’t a cure for most types of arthritis, there ARE plenty of ways to cope if you have any form of this disease.

You should start by setting reasonable goals: reducing joint pain and other arthritis symptoms, regaining and maintaining joint function and mobility, and slowing the disease’s progression.

Then, figure out the steps most likely to be effective for you, keeping in mind some may not yield dramatic results but will contribute to bigger-picture improvements in your overall health and well-being when implemented along with other tactics.

So even though it can be hard just to get out of bed in the morning, we’ve got some tips for you on managing this unpleasant disease. And as a bonus, keep reading to the end for some amazing foods that will help you in the process!

arthritis
Photo by PopTika at Shutterstock

Anti-inflammatory Diet

For people with arthritis, especially inflammatory, following some simple dietary rules may help relieve some of the symptoms.

Certain foods are believed to increase inflammation, and you should avoid them, while others are thought to reduce inflammation and may be helpful as a regular fixture in your diet.

Lots of books and websites are out there to help you with this, but it can be confusing because they’re not all based on the latest evidence. Your doctor can better guide you to one that’s likely to be safe and effective.

If you have trouble making dietary changes, a session with a nutritionist may also help. And once you’ve chosen a diet, it’s all about trial and error to see which of your changes make a difference.

Take Your Meds

If you take prescription pills for arthritis, they obviously won’t work unless you take them as directed by your doctor. Of course, it’s only human to miss some once in a while, but this should not be a problem as long as you get back on track right away.

But, if forgetting to take your arthritis medication is a common issue, you should find ways to remind yourself.

Options include downloading an app, putting an alarm on your phone, or strategically setting your pill sorter on the kitchen counter next to the coffee machine or your toothbrush, whichever you head to first in the morning.

Sometimes, it can also be tempting to stop taking prescribed medication because of side effects. It’s fair not to want to swallow a pill that causes you to feel bad, but odds are you have other options.

People usually try several different drugs before finding the one that works best for them. When in doubt, call your Dr. They will be able to suggest other medicines you can try that may be just as effective without being unpleasant.

Get Some Quality Sleep

Sleep problems are common for people who live with arthritis, but they are not usually dealt with medically. Instead, sleep issues are considered inevitable, something that just goes with the territory, and you have to live with it.

But in fact, there are a bunch of options for improving your sleep if you have arthritis.

This is another thing you should bring up with your healthcare provider so you can be evaluated for sleep disorders or maybe even find a sleep aid or new pain treatment that allows you to get a better night’s sleep. Melatonin may also be a suitable option for you!

arthritis
Photo by YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV

Physical Activity

While it may seem counterintuitive that exercise can help ease your joints, there is lots of research to support the significance of regular exercise for handling arthritis.

Besides strengthening the muscles that support the joints, exercise offers other benefits that can improve the quality of life for people with arthritis:

  • Strengthens bones
  • Boosts energy
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves overall wellness

If it’s been a while since you last worked out, rest assured there’s no need to commit to some brutal, high-intensity fitness routine. With your doctor’s OK and direction, you should be able to find an activity that’s low impact and in sync with your level of fitness.

This could be classes at a local health club, sessions with a personal trainer with expertise in working with people with arthritis, or even an online workout. Swimming and aquatic fitness classes are also perfect options if you have access to a pool.

How Are Your Stress Levels?

Stress can be a trigger for specific types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Even though a connection between stress and rheumatoid arthritis has not been officially proven with research, many people with the disease have been able to point to a stressful event in their lives that occurred within months of their initial signs. Regardless, it is accepted that stress can provoke a flare-up, an event in which symptoms are especially severe. Hence, it’s essential to be cautious about the effect of stress and minimize it as much as possible. A helpful tip would be to plant some lavender around your home to aid you with those stress levels!

Asking For Help

This is one thing you should never be ashamed of. Physical limitations and functional limitations are a huge part of living with arthritis. Living with this condition will likely make usual daily activities, such as household chores, grocery shopping, and yard work, more complex. And these limitations can be hard to deal with. If it becomes the case for you, don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family members to lend a hand when you need it, even if it may be hard to do so. If you don’t have such a support system, your healthcare provider may be able to point you in the direction of social services and community organizations that will help.

Re-Assess And Repeat

Recognize your ongoing struggles and which aspects of your life with arthritis need more of your attention. Is your pain not sufficiently controlled? Are you depressed? Do you feel isolated and lonely? Are you having trouble keeping up with your work and household responsibilities? Your doctor can be your best point of contact in figuring out your problems. While they can’t solve every situation, they can guide or refer you to people who CAN help. Seek out that help, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re in this fight alone. Work on open communication and determination so your health and quality of life are as good as possible.

arthritis
Photo by ra2 studio at Shutterstock

Can Your Diet Help?

Changing the way you eat can make a huge difference when it comes to your joint health and arthritis. When it comes to the biggest fight against arthritis and immobility, your plate and planning ability are your two most significant allies. So check out which foods best fight this disease:

  1. Olive Oil: Researchers have discovered that monounsaturated fatty acid-rich foods, like olive oil, are correlated with a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
  2. Avocado: The results of a study revealed that supplementation with an avocado-soybean fat blend significantly relieved arthritic inflammation.
  3. Ginger: Ginger is potent medicine for anyone suffering from inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, thanks to its main component, gingerol, a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation in your body.
  4. Spinach: Loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and flavonoids, spinach reduces inflammation in your joints.
  5. Basil: Basil is loaded with flavonoids, which research has deemed effective at subduing a wide variety of arthritis symptoms.
  6. Lemon: Adding a squeeze of citrus to your salad or glass of water can put you on the path to healthier joints in no time.
  7. Celery: Celery has several anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce the amount of pain and irritation in arthritic or pre-arthritic joints.

We hope this article will help you get on the right track in fighting arthritis. And for some other great tips, check out: 10 Miraculous Disease Fighting Foods You’re Missing Out On

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