You have arthritis; it’s painful, it’s annoying, and it’s getting in the way of your daily life. But is it something that you must endure, simply because others have suffered with it in the past? Is it a natural part of aging? Not necessarily. There are many new treatments to relieve the pain of arthritis, as well as simple ways to approach day to day activities that will lessen the impact on sore, arthritic joints. Naturally you will want to speak with your health practitioner first to review your health history, but any of the suggestions that follow can be used safely, and to great benefit, if you are otherwise healthy.
Doing some type of gentle exercise in the evening will cause you to be less stiff in the morning. Tai chi, yoga, swimming, cycling or simply walking are all good choices. It seems counterintuitive, but movement will actually reduce the pain of arthritis, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles and even increase your endurance.
Avoid doing any exercises that may stress or further irritate your joints. Running, jumping, tennis, or any high-impact aerobic exercise are detrimental to arthritic joints and should be avoided. On the other hand, doing nothing at all should be avoided as well. Inactivity can lead to weak muscles, muscle atrophy, and further joint deterioration. For some, shedding excess weight alleviates knee and hip pain, as the joints experience less stress with less weight. Keeping a positive mental attitude can be very beneficial as well.
If you experience pain in your joints, rest. Apply cold packs to relieve the pain or hot packs to ease stiff and achy joints. Many people have found acupuncture to be a great pain reliever for chronic arthritis pain. Contact Chris Hammond, George Barnosky, or Marilyn Burdekin at the Howard County Holistic Center for acupuncture treatment. Remember, staying active, losing weight, and keeping a positive mental attitude will go a long way in helping you cope with those bothersome arthritic joints. So the next time you hear Snap! Crackle! And Pop! in the morning, it’ll be the sound from your cereal bowl, and not your knees.