Everybody has heard of Arthritis: in the UK alone it affects around 10 million people. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the most common types and cause symptoms of pain, swelling and inflammation in the joint. Affected individuals gradually find themselves suffering with joint stiffness, inflexibility and often become less active as a consequence. If you suffer from Arthritic pain, the main thing to remember is that you are not alone. However, finding a treatment that works for you takes time and you should try to be open-minded when it comes to trying new management techniques. Some methods may not work for you, but work well for others. And vice-versa. So, if you come across a new method of treatment that you have not tried before, speak with your medical practitioner and try to work it into your treatment routine. We’ve compiled 6 pieces of key advice when it comes to managing arthritic joint pain.
1) Evaluate Your BMI
Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is very important for a variety of reasons relating to your health. In this case, carrying excess weight means placing more pressure on your joints. This can in turn exemplify your symptoms. Ensure that you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and that your intake is healthy for your build. If you are sceptical of weight monitoring mechanisms and relying on your BMI (Body Mass Index), ask your medical practitioner for advice on weight loss and dieting. They will be able to independently evaluate your lifestyle and help you come up with a plan.
2) Stay Active
When your symptoms are bad, the last thing you probably want to do is get out and about. However, staying active is extremely important to maintain flexibility within your joints. While you should steer clear of weight-bearing activities, like contact sports and running, you should try to incorporate low-impact exercise into your day-to-day routine. Swimming and yoga are great activities that do not place too much stress on painful joints, but also keep you active and help to maintain flexibility. Regular stretching can also improve range of motion in your joints and help to build back your strength.
3) Reconsider Smoking Habits
If you are a smoker, I’m sure you are already aware it can have a negative impact on your health in a variety of ways. However, it is worth noting that smoking places stress on connective tissues and could well be making your joint pain worse. So, when considering your diet and exercise routine, perhaps also consider cutting down on smoking to take another step in the right direction. This can be hard to do, but there are a range of resources to help you quit available online.
4) Hot & Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy really is the way to go when it comes to managing painful, arthritic joints. While warm showers, baths and hot water bottles can effectively ease the stiffness in your joints, cold treatments also assist with the treatment of pain, swelling and inflammation. There are many ways to try cold therapy: from balancing a bag of peas on your joint, to purchasing a cryotherapy machine, there are different options available to you depending on your budget. PHYSIOLAB devices provide extremely safe and effective treatments that can be set-up and applied at home. Customers often notice a difference after the very first treatment! As well as decreasing swelling and inflammation, cryotherapy dampens pain receptors in the joint, allowing for natural and effective pain-relief.
The regular massaging of arthritic, painful joints can reduce stiffness, allowing greater flexibility and consequentially more activity. You could look to find a qualified physical therapist in your local area and arrange regular visits. There are many different types of massage, depending on your pain, sensitivity and previous experience. Some people prefer deep tissue massages and others prefer a softer approach in the form of a Swedish massage.
6) Look After Your Mental Health
Living with arthritis and chronic pain can cause immense amounts of emotional stress over time. If you begin to feel irritable, low or depressed, ensure you talk to someone, whether that’s a family member, a friend or a clinician. Take some time to focus on your own needs and seek medical support if you need to. There are many associations and charities in the UK who are dedicated to supporting you with your condition. Arthritis Action fall into this category and have created a Mental Health Directory to help anyone who is struggling gain access to the help they need.
We hope you found the tips helpful!
There are many informative resources online to help you cope with Arthritis long-term. Above, we have listed the most conventional considerations for the reduction of joint pain, however there are of course other recommendations out there. Why not listen to advice from other individuals living with Arthritis? Versus Arthritis provide an online community for people to discuss their struggles and how they cope – check it out to see if any of the shared experiences on the forum can help you.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about PHYSIOLAB’s at-home cryotherapy treatments, please contact our customer services on 01908 263331 or email email@example.com.