Managing arthritis sounds a whole lot more positive than “suffering” arthritis. But can you really manage the condition? Isn’t it just inevitable with age?
After all, you knew it was coming. Your parents had it. Your grandparents had it. It was just a matter of time before you had it. The suffering was flagged up of old!
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ve been hit with it. That’s because arthritis is a genetic condition that does tend to be passed down through families. If you look at the data, you’ll also see how prevalent it is among Americans.
According to the CDC, “23% of all adults – over 54 million people – have arthritis. About 24 million adults are limited in their activities from arthritis, and more than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain.” Studies have also shown that more than 50% of people over the age of 65 have some level of joint pain.
The difference between you and your ancestors is that we now know that suffering from arthritis pain doesn’t have to be part of the aging process. There are plenty of options available to help relieve symptoms, and experts believe that it’s better to make healthy changes earlier than later.
Is Managing Arthritis Possible?
The aching, stiffness, and pain associated with arthritis didn’t seem so bad when you heard about it second-hand, but now that you’re experiencing it yourself, you understand just how debilitating it can be. And how desperate you are to manage it.
That’s because your pain and stiffness can make it difficult to perform daily tasks that you used to take for granted. Even the smallest things can be exhausting. Managing your arthritis has never seemed so important. You wish you’d been more sympathetic to your parents!
The leading causes of arthritis are
- a family history of the disorder
- an old injury
- autoimmune diseases
You may be surprised to learn that there are over 100 different types of arthritis. It follows that knowing what type of arthritis is getting you down can be a key factor in relieving your pain and inflammation. To find out, you need a qualified specialist who has the ability to correctly diagnose your arthritis type and work with you to manage those arthritis symptoms where they’re showing up.
The most common diagnosed types of arthritis are
- Osteoarthritis – often called wear-and-tear arthritis – comes from simply using your body. Eventually, the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints dissipates until your bones rub on each other.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that occurs when your immune system attacks the tissue that lines your joints.
And the most common places your arthritis pain will show up are:
- lower back
- base of thumb
Take Your Pain Down a Notch Yourself
Aging is natural. It comes with its ups and downs. The more you attend to and support your health and wellbeing, the better you’ll feel about yourself and your body as you get older. Many of the home-based suggestions to relieve and manage arthritic joint pain are things you’ve heard before. Any of these will help you manage the pain better yourself.
Did you know that every extra pound on your body exerts four pounds of pressure on your knees? Drop 10 pounds and you’ve taken 40 off of your knees.
Move, Move, Move!
Move your body regularly. This can help prevent pain and further prevent damage. Replace activities that are hard on your joints like running for low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and biking. Do some weight training to build the muscles that help support your joints. Even getting up and stretching every 15 minutes can make a difference.
Replace Sugary Drinks With Water
Sugary drinks boost inflammation, lead to weight gain, and increase your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis. However, keeping your joints hydrated by drinking water can help decrease pain.
Use Adaptive Aids
There are plenty of products out there that can decrease the stress on your joints while you go about your daily activities. For instance, electric can openers and mixers, automatic toilet bowl cleaners and spray-on mildew remover – plus other devices that can help you avoid unnecessary bending, stooping, or reaching.
Joint pain increases as sleep quality decreases. Poor sleep can cause depression, worsening pain, and increase the likelihood that your arthritis will lead to disability. Your body needs sleep to fight back against pain.
Equally, we have to admit, joint pain can be the cause poor sleep.
This last point is one reason why you might decide it’s time to have some professional treatment to help you manage your arthritis.
So, let’s look at what’s available that will help you.
Professional Treatments to Manage Your Arthritis
If do-it-yourself treatment options have not been enough for you, there are plenty of conventional and alternative treatment options that can significantly help you manage your arthritis, including
- Massage therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Disease-modifying medications
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
- Fish oil and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
The worst thing is thinking you have to manage arthritic pain by yourself, because “it must be my imagination telling me it’s so bad.”
It’s Not Your Imagination. Arthritis Pain is Chronic
Arthritis is considered to be a chronic condition that causes chronic pain. This means that there’s no cure for it. You simply have to find ways to manage and treat the arthritic symptoms.
If not managed well, a chronic condition will profoundly affect your quality of life. Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions and often shows up with other chronic conditions. And the bad news is that multiple chronic conditions have a higher prevalence of limiting your social participation, distressing you psychologically, and placing limitations on work.
And this is why working with a specialist is recommended to manage arthritis well. A specialist in chronic pain, chronic disease, or arthritis can help you sort through the underlying causes of your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan to bring you relief.
We’re Here to Help You Manage Your Arthritis!
If chronic arthritic pain is dragging you down, we can help.
One of our specialties is managing chronic conditions. We know that keeping chronic conditions like arthritis in check can be difficult without the proper resources or support.
So, at OneLife Medical Center, we give our patients the best of the best for chronic condition care. We’ll be your partner to effectively manage your arthritis well. Contact us for a consultation today!