A sore knee after an intense run causes you some discomfort. You limp around doing your daily chores, and the excruciating pain restricts your movement. Now imagine going through this trauma every day of your life. That’s what a person with arthritis has to deal with.
Arthritis is a condition associated with the joints. Stiffness, joint pain and swelling curtail the patient’s movement, and gradually mental fatigue starts to build.
With over 20% of the population in the US suffering from it, osteoarthritis is the most common of all forms of arthritis. While the condition can be treated through joint replacement, medication or therapy, pain can still linger on, causing the patient to become reclusive, which affects their mental health significantly.
While there may be many remedies available to alleviate arthritis pain, their effectiveness can be doubtful.
Here are some tried and tested things that arthritis patients can do to maintain a healthy body and mind.
With sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise, many ailments can crop up. While eating healthy is, of course, beneficial for our body, it can prove extremely helpful in the case of arthritis. A crucial link between your diet and arthritis is body weight. Being overweight is anyway unhealthy, but the problem can be compounded in case you’re suffering from arthritis.
The knees have to bear the brunt of excess weight thus causing more pain and discomfort. So shedding those extra pounds with the help of a healthy diet is a great way to lower your arthritis pain. Start by cutting down your fat and sugar intake and include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
As part of a healthy lifestyle, exercise should be a regular feature in your daily regimen. This is easier said than done in the case of arthritis. However, even light exercise like climbing stairs, walking or yoga can make a significant difference.
Start exercising gradually and increase the intensity as per your comfort. For people with arthritis, two to three 10-minute sessions in a day should be enough. Coupled with a healthy diet, regular exercise will ensure your muscles stay supple thereby reducing the pain.
If regular exercise gets a bit too much too handle, there is always help at hand. Your local osteopath can help you relieve the pain to a great extent. Osteopathy has proved its effectiveness in helping arthritis patients improve movement and strength and overall levels of discomfort.
The technique involves gentle manipulation of the tissues in the head; however, it is not limited to that area alone. Joints and other muscle groups can also be relieved of pain through this form of therapy. Regular session with your osteopath will ensure the pain never gets unmanageable. Cranial osteopathy is also effective in helping arthritis patients with de-stressing.
Take a warm bath
There’s nothing quite like a warm bath to soothe aching muscles. This couldn’t be truer in the case of arthritis. A long soak in a tub full of hot water will not only relax your joints and muscles, but it will also help you uplift your mood. While you are in the water, the stress on your joints will be displaced, and you can relax pain-free for some time.
Arthritis as a condition not only takes a toll on your physical strength but also your mental well-being. Prolonged suffering in pain can lead to depression. However, with a positive approach and well-informed lifestyle choices you can fight back arthritis before it takes over your life.
Incorporate the points mentioned above in your day-to-day life and don’t let pain keep you from living a full and happy life.
Wendy Whitehead did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.