Nothing can be more frustrating than experiencing limited mobility. When activities you used to enjoy become a painful chore due to arthritis, sufferers can feel extraordinarily discouraged and unmotivated. We would like to help you get some of that mobility back with a few tips and tricks to try at home. Don't let arthritis stop you from enjoying the active lifestyle you hope to lead.
1. Get moving.
If you have been suffering with arthritis for some time, you have probably heard over and over that exercise can ease the pain of arthritis. We know that moving painful joints more often doesn't sound appealing. But the more you move, the better your joints will feel. Try low-impact exercise routines such as water aerobics, walking, yoga, tai chi and gardening. We promise you will feel the difference if you stick with it.
2. Get flexible.
No, we don't expect you to become an Olympic gymnast, but we do suggest that you make time during your day to stretch and move. Try to set aside 15 minutes in the morning, in the middle of the day and in the evening for simple stretching exercises. Here are some great videos that will give you examples of helpful stretches used to ease arthritis pain.
3. Use tools.
Make life easier on yourself by using tools or adapting methods that will lead to less painful joint use. This could involve using arthritis-friendly jar openers, zippers, reaching tools and bars in the bathtub. Think of daily tasks that cause joint pain, and try to find alternative, painless methods you can use to complete those tasks.
4. Lose weight.
Every extra pound that your body carries puts an extra burden on your joints. Make an effort to keep your weight within a normal range. Plus, a healthy diet and steady weight will make exercising and stretching easier — both of which will reduce joint pain and swelling.
5. Cool off, warm up.
Keeping your joints cold or warm can help with pain. Icing your joints can help reduce inflammation during flare-ups. A warm bath or heating pads will increase circulation and relax muscles. Be sure to talk to your physician about which method is recommended for your type of arthritis pain.
6. Get informed.
The more you understand about osteoarthritis, its causes, its triggers, and how it can be treated, the better off you will be. Stay informed and updated, and be sure to ask questions of your physician or physical therapist. For more information about arthritis, visit our health library here or visit ArthritisToday.org.
7. Take your medications as directed.
Make sure that you understand exactly how to take your medications. Also, find out what other medications, foods or other outside influences could change its effectiveness. Simply taking these correctly may make an enormous difference to your comfort level and level of pain.
Medical Center Arlington, the official hospital of the Texas Rangers, wants to help you regain your mobility and maintain that active lifestyle. Would you like to meet with a physician to discuss your osteoarthritis condition and treatment options? Call 1-855-868-6262 for a physician referral. Also, for more information about joint replacement, please visit us online here.