These Arthritis Relief Tips May Help All Pain Sufferers
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that causes ongoing physical pain, affecting nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, psoriatic, gout, and lupus.
Anyone, at any age, can develop arthritis. It’s most common in women, people who aren’t active, and those in poor health—and the risk for most types of arthritis increases as you get older.
The good news is that you can reduce your risk for getting arthritis—and if you already have arthritis, keep it from getting worse—by making some healthy lifestyle changes.
- Eat well. Reduce inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet (like DASH or the Mediterranean diet), which features fruits and vegetables, foods with omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices.
- Be active. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Aim for 30 minutes per day, five days a week of low impact and strengthening activities.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight puts more stress on joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. For an overweight person, even a 5% weight loss can reduce pain.
- Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor right away if your joints are swollen, warm, or red. A joint infection may cause some types of arthritis to develop.
- Avoid joint injuries. Overuse of joints, such as knee bending, can damage a joint and contribute to the development of arthritis. Include joint-strengthening exercises in your workout to prevent injury.
- Consider your work. If your job requires repetitive motions, such as squatting or bending, talk with your supervisor about adaptations to minimize the impact to your joints.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for rheumatoid arthritis as well as many other serious conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
If you continue to experience arthritis pain, talk to your doctor about over-the-counter pain relief products, prescription medications, physical therapy, or surgery for affected joints.