For the more than 50 million Americans that are living with some form of arthritis, pain is an almost constant companion. Arthritis can cause pain by age-related wearing down of cartilage, triggering of the immune system to attack the joints, or other mechanisms.
As the month of May has been designated Arthritis Awareness Month, here are some tips to provide relief for arthritis pain:
- Lose Excess Weight: Being overweight or obese puts a lot of extra stress on your weightbearing joints, especially the knees and hips. For example, did you know that while walking your knees are subjected to nearly 3-4 times your bodyweight? Losing even a few pounds can go a long way in reducing joint pain.
- Exercise Regularly: Low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, or water aerobics are great to keep your joint flexible and functional.
- Acupuncture Therapy: According to several research studies, acupuncture may be able to provide marked relief on chronic arthritic joint pain. It is a safe and effective procedure with almost no side effects when treatment is obtained from a well-qualified practitioner.
- Massage Therapy: The Arthritis Foundation recommends massage therapy for arthritis pain. Patients receiving regular massages often report reduced pain and fatigue after therapy.
- Heat and Cold Therapy: Application of heat can reduce stiffness and improve range of motion in arthritic joints and application of cold packs may be used to treat acute flareups lowering inflammation and pain.
- Nutritional Supplements: Arthritis symptoms may be controlled by regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation as well as calcium and vitamin D to improve bone mineral density.
- Stress Reduction: Stress does play a role in exacerbating arthritis symptoms. Research studies have suggested that meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain caused by arthritis.
By practicing the above-mentioned tips as well as taking medications or other treatments recommended by your doctor, you will be able to better cope with painful arthritis symptoms and lead a more active and productive life.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.