Most people know that arthritis can cause pain and inflammation of the joints, but did you know that there are easy steps you can take today to help relieve the pain of arthritis and prevent the onset or progression of the disease. It’s true – a few easy changes in your life can make a significant impact on how you feel and function today and tomorrow.
- Start Moving
It’s an old wives’ tale that exercise increases arthritis symptoms. In fact, movement is the best way to prevent and control arthritis. By simply walking or doing other low-impact exercise, you can strengthen the muscles that help to support your joints and improve your bone strength. Even moderate exercise can have a significant impact on how you feel. Learn more and download a free movement tracker by visiting www.letsmovetogether.org.
- See Your Doctor
If you have arthritis or are having symptoms associated with the disease, it’s important that you see your doctor. Your doctor or rheumatologist can track your symptoms and can help you find the right treatments for your particular needs.
- Buy Arthritis-Friendly Products
If you have arthritis, you have probably struggled with routine tasks like removing the top of a medicine bottle or pruning the bushes. But did you know that there are products available that have actually earned the Arthritis Foundation Ease of Use commendation? That’s right, no matter if you need a new vacuum that is more friendly to your joints or are searching for a pill box that won’t cause you pain, check out the Ease of Use products before you go shopping.
- Take Your Medication
Medicine can only help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and prevent flare-ups if it’s taken properly. Set an alarm if you need help remembering to take your medications each day. And never stop taking or modify the dosage of prescribed medication without first speaking with your doctor.
- Try an Alternative Therapy
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hypnosis may seem unconventional, but many people with arthritis report significant pain and inflammation reduction from these unorthodox treatments. Many of these alternative therapies are explored by Arthritis Today magazine and their findings can help you better understand which therapies may be right for you. Learn more by visiting ArthrtisToday.org.
Doctors are wonderful people, but even they don’t know everything about every disease. Take control of your health by researching symptoms, treatments and preventive care on your own. And if you feel like your doctor is not listening to your concerns or suggestions, it may be time to find a new practitioner.
- Join a Class
Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get moving when your body hurts and your joints ache. A great way to kick start your exercise program is to join an arthritis-focused exercise class in your community. Whether you want to give the Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi class a whirl or you prefer to stick with our traditional water aerobics classes, joining other arthritis sufferers can give you the motivation you need to get moving. Learn more about arthritis-focused exercise classes in your community by visiting the Arthritis Foundation program’s webpage.
- Watch Your Weight
It may sound like a broken record, but losing weight can have a substantial impact on your overall health and can significantly reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Excess weight puts a great deal of strain on your joints, and even shedding a mere 10 pounds can help alleviate much of your pain and discomfort.
- Do it Easier
Everyday activities can be a hassle when joints are tender and stiff, but there are ways to make life easier so you can prevent pain and save energy. View the Arthritis Today article to find out how you can minimize pain while doing everyday activities like getting dressed or making the bed.
- Join the Movement
Arthritis research and public programs for people living with the disease take millions of dollars to fund each year. Without these funds, progress on finding new treatment options and an eventual cure would slow dramatically and many programs developed to help people with arthritis would be cut. As an arthritis advocate, you can share your story with members of Congress and help them better understand the need for arthritis legislation and funding. Visit the Arthritis Foundation advocacy webpage to learn more and to sign up to be an advocate today.