Arthritis is a term that describes a painful group of degenerative conditions that are all characterized by stiffness, inflammation and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of this disorder, and is simply caused by natural wear and tear on the joints as you age. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that results from the immune system mistakenly attacking your joints and cartilage.
Both major types of arthritis can be treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed by a doctor. However, there are many benefits to self-management of this condition as well, and taking a more natural approach to treatment can sometimes lessen drug side effects as well. Try out these 7 helpful tips for managing arthritis at home – but remember to always consult your doctor before you start!
#1: Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can have a huge impact on your pain levels if you suffer from arthritis, and carrying extra weight can also exacerbate the condition and even bring it on in some cases. Reduce the amount of stress on your joints, knees, hips and feet by maintaining a healthy weight as far as possible. This will also serve to boost your mobility and prevent further damage to your fragile joints.
#2: Do the Right Exercises
Exercise is very important for managing arthritis, but care must be taken to do the right kinds of physical activity. Weight bearing exercises like walking and jogging can be harmful, so instead, try low impact exercises like swimming, yoga and water aerobics to keep your joints flexible without any added pressure. If your joints are particularly sore, however, skip exercise for the time being and relax with betting at a top bookmaking site like bet365 NZ instead.
#3: Use Heat Therapy
Simple heat (and cold) treatments can help reduce the severity of arthritis pain immensely. Take long, hot baths and showers on cold mornings to ease the stiffness in your joints, and invest in a heating pad or electric blanket for the nights. Cold treatments can also be used to relieve swelling, inflammation or pain.
#4: Eat Enough Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for our health, and scientific studies have shown them to be particularly beneficial to arthritis sufferers. Fish oil supplements, which are rich on omega 3, have the power to reduce joint pain and stiffness, while gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) can also keep your joints limber and supple.
#5: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Spices
Spices like turmeric and cayenne pepper have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help to alleviate joint inflammation. They are also rich in antioxidants which have the power to slow ageing and promote general health!
#6: Have Regular Massages
The Arthritis Foundation recommends regular massaging of arthritic joints to reduce stiffness and pain and increase your range of motion. Teach yourself self-massage with the guidance of a physical therapist, or book yourself treatments with a professional masseuse regularly.
#7: Try a Herbal Supplement
There are many healing herbs out there with proven abilities when it comes to boosting joint health and reducing pain. Just a few include Boswellia, Bromelain, Gingko and Devil’s Claw. Remember to always speak to your doctor before trying a new natural supplement though, as some may interfere with other medications that you are already on!