Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain

Arthritis affects about 350 million people worldwide and 40 million in the United States alone. Unfortunately, no one remedy works well for everyone. Because each person’s body is different, it’s important to investigate all of the treatments for arthritis to find the right combination. Relief from arthritis pain is possible with the right mix of exercise, diet, stress reduction, supplements, and medications. Read the answers to some common questions about arthritis pain relief to find the right solution for your joints.

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Can exercise help with arthritis pain?


Yes! Regular, moderate exercise can stabilize your joints by strengthening the surrounding muscles. You may also see an increase in flexibility. Exercise helps you lose weight, which can relieve pressure on painful joints. Also, exercise gives you an endorphin rush, which makes you feel better all over. Before beginning a new exercise regime, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have any exercise limitations.

Once you've begun your exercise regimen, be gentle with yourself. Apply ice or hot packs to your muscles if they're sore. Warm up before you exercise, and cool down afterward. Don't push yourself if you're feeling pain.


What are some pharmaceutical remedies for arthritis pain?


Many over-the-counter solutions are effective in relieving arthritis pain. Topical creams and ointments work for many people. Some creams include menthol, which provides a heating or tingling sensation. Others include salicylates, which make up the active ingredient in aspirin.

Ask your doctor about other medications that may help your arthritis. Many patients do well with Advil or Ibuprofen, both of which can help reduce inflammation. For severe arthritis, your doctor may prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory or other medication.

Tell your doctor about all medications and supplements that you're planning to take, to avoid unintended interactions.


Why is this important?


Arthritis is a particularly painful condition that affects millions of people. Unfortunately, no one treatment works for everyone. By learning about the different ways to alleviate arthritis pain, you can pick the methods that work best for you.


Does my mental outlook affect how I feel?


Yes. It's a fact that people who actively practice gratitude for the good in their lives experience less pain. You can begin to focus less on your misfortunes by volunteering for a good cause. When you give your time and energy to someone less fortunate, your capacity for gratitude increases.


What are some natural remedies for arthritis pain?


Soaking in a nice hot bath with Epsom salts can work wonders on painful joints. Many people also report that massaging essential oils into their joints helps relieve arthritis pain. Peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, ginger oil, and lavender oil are popular choices for joint pain relief.

Some people report getting relief from oral herbal remedies. Devil's claw, willow bark, yucca, and turmeric are all known as pain relievers.


Can stress affect my arthritis symptoms?


Yes. Stress causes a multitude of health problems, so it's worth reducing your stress even if you don't suffer from arthritis.

For people with arthritis, stress can cause muscles to become tense, which puts extra pressure on joints that may already be painful. In addition, studies prove that people who experience lots of stress actually experience a change in body chemistry that results in increased pain. By actively reducing your stress, you can cause the opposite change in body chemistry to occur, making you less susceptible to pain.


What else can I try?


It may take some trial and error to find the right combination of treatments for your arthritis. Some people swear by acupuncture or acupressure, while others find success with corticosteroid injections. Osteopaths may be able to alleviate your arthritis pain with an osteopathic adjustment, or you may benefit from myofascial release massage.


Can what I eat affect my arthritis?


For some people, yes. Many people living with arthritis report improvement in their symptoms when they switch to an alkalizing diet.

A good way to start moving towards an alkalizing diet is to get more of your protein from vegetarian sources. Try to include beans, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables. Avoid animal-based foods whenever you can.

Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help prevent and reduce inflammation. Flax and hemp seed are two excellent sources.

Drink lots of water. Water is necessary for keeping joints flexible and lubricated. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol, as these can make inflammation worse.

Arthritis Exercises

Joint pain or stiffness can make exercise difficult. For those with arthritis the right kind of exercise can actually decrease joint pain.

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