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Arthritis Do’s and Don’ts

Arthritis is a chronic condition that involves inflammation in one or more joints. Arthritis is very common but not very well understood. Actually, arthritis is not a single disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and joint related conditions. People of all different ages, sexes, creed, and races can have arthritis. It is the leading cause of pain and disability worldwide.

Arthritis is a chronic condition that can’t be cured, but it can often be well managed. When you get arthritis, you have to take charge. Consult a Rheumatologist and learn what habits are good or bad for your arthritis pain. Then follow through and make the necessary changes. By following these dos and don’ts, you can enjoy life more and possibly slow down the progression of your disease.

What to do during Arthritis:

What to do during Arthritis?

  • Exercise:

    When you have arthritis, exercise can decrease your pain, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance. Include low impact aerobic exercises like walking or cycling to improve your mood.

  • Pay attention to your body signals:

    If a particular activity is causing more pain to your joints, it better to cut it and find another joint-friendly alternative. Overusing your joints can cause more serious damage and may lead to the high intensity of pain which won’t allow you to complete your daily tasks like cooking and getting dressed.

  • Take regular medication:

    Over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve occasional pain. Creams containing capsaicin may be applied to the skin over a joint to relieve pain. Most of the medications are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk to your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

  • Get enough sleep:

    Sleep is even more important when you have arthritis. This is one of the best ways of arthritis treatment. Lack of sleep will only worsen your arthritis symptoms. Find the best mattress and sleeping position for you. Having a warm bath before you go to sleep may relieve pain from joint muscles and help you sleep better. Also, don’t drink anything that keeps you from having a deep sleep like coffee or alcohol.

  • Quit smoking:

    According to a study, smokers may be more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis. And if you already have rheumatoid arthritis and have the habit of smoking, the symptoms can worsen. Studies also show that people who smoke and have rheumatoid arthritis don’t respond well to medications and need more aggressive treatment.

What not to do during Arthritis:

  • Overtreatment/ Undertreatment:

    Don’t get addicted to over-the-counter pain relievers. They may result in serious side effects. Similarly, don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. It may mean you have joint inflammation and may require daily medication.

  • Don’t be a couch potato:

    When you’re living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, staying in bed all day may seem like the right approach but it is not. In fact, even a modest amount of exercise can help you cope better with your arthritis pain. Even if you exercise only 15-30 minutes a day, you’ll feel a lot better.

  • Don’t give up control over your care:

    Even after consulting a doctor and planning a medication, the onus lies on you to follow it regularly. Take control of your condition and adopt healthy habits.

  • Don’t give into depression:

    Many people with arthritis develop depression. A recent study found that depression can worsen your perception of arthritis pain. Although arthritis can be painful at times, try not to let it get you down. Work with your doctor on depression treatments that will help you feel better.

What not to do during Arthritis

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