Arthritis, which means “joint inflammation”, is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. There are more than a hundred different types of arthritis, with more common types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
With many types of arthritis to consider, how does one start to manage pain? Here’s a basic list of where to start:
- Ask your doctor for a clear definition of what type of arthritis you have. This includes giving your doctor complete information about your condition and medical information. Talk to your doctor about your pain, whether you think they are related or not.
- Go for gentle exercises in the evening instead of the morning when you’re less stiff. Keep yourself moving every half hour or so.
- Choose the right kind of activities, the ones that don’t damage the joint themselves.
- Consider a physical or occupational therapist who can develop an exercise program that’s right for you.
- Gradually lose weight to reduce risk of complications.
- Quit smoking to eliminate stress on connective tissues.
- Take doctor-prescribed medications to help alleviate your pain.
- High impact activities with repetitive motion such as running, jumping, tennis and high-impact aerobics
- Self-treatment and over treatment can cause problems. Always make sure to follow your doctor’s advice.
- Negative thoughts can increase your risk of disability and pain. Focus on adaptive therapies or distract yourself from the pain.