Arthritis is one of the most debilitating conditions that affects billions of individuals worldwide. As of 2015, 54.4 million adults across the United States alone have been professionally diagnosed with arthritis. Of these individuals, 49.6% were 65 and older, a percentage that is expected to continue growing in the next 25 years.
What many do not know, however, is that arthritis pain is 100% manageable if approached with the right knowledge and state of mind. If you have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, the following do’s and don’ts of arthritis pain should serve as a good starting point for living a stress-free life.
What Eases Arthritis Pain?
- Learn as much as possible about your condition, including the type of arthritis and extent of joint damage (if any).
- Plan your pain management tactics with your family, friends, and doctor.
- Be honest with your doctor should the pain increase.
- Maintain good posture, whether sitting, standing or walking.
- Maintain a healthy weight to prevent added stress on your joints.
- Perform gentle stretches to move your joints through their full range of motion every day.
- Perform low-impact activities that build muscle and strength without damaging your joints, such as walking, swimming or cycling.
- Balance physical activity with plenty of rest.
- Work with your doctor on a custom medication plan for your distinct symptoms.
- Make good use of heat and cold, such as heating pads, paraffin wax and/or ice packs.
- Consider massage for temporary relief of pain and joint stiffness.
- Consider therapeutic activities for the mind and body, including talk therapy, relaxation exercises or acupuncture.
What Makes Arthritis Pain Worse?
- Ignore severe pain, as it might indicate joint inflammation or damage that requires daily treatment.
- Engage in activities involving repetitive motion and/or high impact, such as running, jumping or aerobics.
- Overtreat your symptoms with over-the-counter pain medications.
- Smoke tobacco, as it contains toxins that place stress on your connective tissues and aggravate the pain.
- Focus solely on the pain, as arthritis pain sufferers are at a higher risk of depression.
- Develop a negative attitude about your ability to manage the pain, as negative thoughts can only elevate your risk of disability.
To learn more about managing arthritis pain in the Manatee or Sarasota Counties of Florida, we welcome you to contact Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management today. Our pain management specialists look forward to helping you manage your symptoms and make living with arthritis a breeze!