10 arthritis tips to make your life more comfortable

In America, over 31 million people suffer from arthritis. Therefore, this disease can be considered a folk disease. This wear process of the cartilage is mostly present upon ageing. Because America is aging rapidly, the number of arthritis patients will dramatically increase over the coming decades. In this article, Moving without Pain provides 10 tips to make your life with arthritis more comfortable, which are easy to apply yourself.

What is arthritis?

arthritis is also called wear rheumatism. Caused by daily strain on the joints, the cartilage can start to wear. Among other things, obesity, standing up extended periods of time, intensive sports, heavy physical work and wrong posture results in excessive pressure on the joints. Therefore, the cartilage lining of the joints will gradually become softer and thinner and will finally crumble. As a result, the joints move less flexible. Moreover, pain, swelling and stiffness may arise. After all, the breakdown of the cartilage may initiate inflammation. It is of crucial importance to fight these inflammations on time and effectively because they can accelerate the cartilage wear. arthritis mainly affects the vertebral column, hips, hands and knees but also the cartilage of shoulders, elbows, ankles, neck and even jaw and pubic bone can be affected by wear.

arthrosis

Tip 1: stay active

To keep moving actively might be the last thing one feels like doing when the joints feel stiff and painful. Multiple studies, however, indicate that physical activity is one of the best ways to improve quality of life. By cycling, walking or swimming at least half an hour every day the muscles surrounding the affected joints are reinforced. This way, they get more support and become more flexible. Moreover, extra calories are being burnt causing better weight control and less pressure on the joints.

diet

Tip 2: follow a balanced feeding pattern

Studies indicate that multiple nutrients can help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. For instance, it is known that Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish can help to reduce inflammation and that vitamin C contributes to the conservation of healthy cartilage. Experts recommend not to focus on a (limited) number of nutrients, but on healthy and balanced food resulting in ingestion of all necessary nutrients. Everybody’s daily menu should contain a lot of fruit and vegetables, fatty fish (haring, mackerel and salmon) and lean meat (turkey, chicken breast, lean beef). Preferably, use extra olive oil or coconut oil. Read more about food and arthritis.

healthy weight

Tip 3: take care of a healthy weight

Losing weight has been mentioned before and it is not a coincidence that it is mentioned here again in a separate tip. Obesity causes extra pressure on joints of the back, knees, hips, ankles and feet. Losing weight may ease symptoms like stiffness and pain. Admitted: losing excess weight is easier said than done. Try to take a small step for instance by eating smaller portions and move a little more. This can already have a positive effect on body weight. Read more about arthritis and obesity.

good night's sleep

Tip 4: provide a good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is the best remedy against pain. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Remove TV, tablet or smartphone from your bedroom. This only causes unnecessary distraction causing decreased quality of falling asleep. In addition, the light from the screens might disturb your day-night rhythm. Putting a pillow under the painful joint might increase comfort. There is a sleeping problem when there are three sleepless nights per week for three consecutive weeks. In this case, we advise you to go see a doctor. Carry out the exercises directly after waking up to remove the stiffness from the joints. Read a number of tips against morning stiffness.

warm or cold compress

Tip 5: use hot or cold compresses

Having painful, swollen and stiff joints does not always mean that you need to take medicine. It might be worthwhile to try to relieve the symptoms using hot or cold compresses. When joints are stiff, hot compresses are indicated.

control the pain

Tip 6: keep the pain under control

Painful joints can severely compromise the quality of life. Therefore, try to control the pain using paracetamol as a first choice drug. When this drug provides insufficient pain relief, talk to the doctor who in most cases will prescribe an NSAID. In addition, an injection with corticosteroids or referral to a pain clinic is amongst the possibilities. More about pain relief in arthritis.

green-lipped mussel

Tip 7: consider alternative treatment options

Drugs will not always help to get grip on the annoying symptoms of arthritis. Therefore, it is wise to also orientate on alternative treatment options. These are called ‘complementary’ because they add to a ‘regular’ treatment or therapy. Examples are acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.

Moreover, the use of food supplements can also be considered. The action of glucosamine and chondroitin are not scientifically proven. However, there is better evidence for the action of the Green-lipped mussel, Bio-Curcumin and Blackcurrant leaf. These natural anti-inflammatory compounds can be best ingested in combination and in liquid form. This allows the active compounds to be better and more completely absorbed allowing for the effects to reach the joints more quickly. More about this formula.

help

Tip 8: use devices

Devices make life with arthritis easier. They are supportive in the daily activities without excessive strain on the joints. Moreover, assistance is not always needed anymore. Therefore, we recommend to use these devices. Among other things, there are dressing sticks, special bath and shower chairs and anti-slip mats. There are also devices to be used in the kitchen. There are kitchen tools with a hooked grip that keep the hand, wrist and arm in a natural position. Therefore, less force is needed for a certain activity. Furthermore, there are also grip tools to pick up small and light items as well as hand brooms and toilet brushes with a long handle. These devices are for sale or rent in a home care shop or specialist in medical rehabilitation (revalidation) devices.

support

Tip 9: look for support

Life with arthritis is not always easy. Therefore, try to find people around you where you can talk to and who can help you when necessary, for instance, take you to the hospital or shopping mall by car. Explore whether there is a patient association near you. It is always good to talk to fellow sufferers.

stay positive

Tip 10: stay positive

Your mental health has a big effect on your wellbeing and daily functioning. Therefore, try to do something nice every day. Spend time with your friends. Look for a hobby to get some distraction. Focus on the things that are still possible to do with arthritis and not on the things that are not.

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