4 Ways to Combat the Effects of Arthritis
Living with arthritis can be difficult and disheartening. Even the most ordinary everyday tasks like cooking or putting on clothes can be painful experiences for those suffering from arthritis.
Whether it’s the days of your youth catching back up to you or the result of a consistently active lifestyle over the years, arthritis is a pressing issue for many older adults. In fact, arthritis in seniors can affect one out of every two people. A study conducted by the CDC found that: 49.7 percent of Americans ages 65 or older report having been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.
With such a staggering number of adults suffering from this ailment, there are lots of suggestions about how to lessen the pain arthritis causes! If you or someone you know finds the daily tasks of life challenging because of the pain you feel from arthritis, take a look at these four ways to combat the effects of arthritis.
Watching Your Weight
Since arthritis is a condition that targets the joints, the amount of stress you put on those joints will directly determine how much pain you feel. Naturally, the amount of weight your hips, knees and feet have to support influences the pain you feel from arthritis in those places. So, watching your weight is very important if you want to decrease pain and improve mobility in the joints in your legs.
If you are at a healthy weight, do your best to keep it that way. The last thing you want to do is gain weight that adds to the stress you feel in your hips, knees and feet.
If you have a few pounds to spare, losing just one pound will relieve three to five pounds worth of pressure from your knees. Watching your weight can go a long way in contributing to the overall health of your joints.
Changing Your Diet
Of course maintaining a healthy diet will help you watch your weight and improve your energy levels, but there are some foods in particular that may help fight the battle against arthritis.
Taking fish oil supplements of omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce joint stiffness and pain, and turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that is found in many Indian dishes. If you’re a fan of fish or really like Indian food, trying to include one of these in your diet more often may help fight your arthritic symptoms.
Other studies have analyzed different types of diets that may help reduce pain for those suffering from arthritis. Mediterranean diets emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grain, fish and olive oil while limiting red meat have been loosely linked with reducing joint pain. Vegetarian diets that allow for eggs and dairy products have also produced similar results.
While studies are not completely concrete on diets that reduce arthritic pain, trying a new diet with the foods mentioned above may be worth a shot. If nothing else, you can use it as an excuse to broaden your culinary horizons!
While you might think a lot of movement is the last thing arthritic joints need, exercising is an important aspect in maintaining healthy joints. For arthritic joints exercising can: strengthen the muscles around your joints, give you more energy to get through the day, help you control your weight and help you get a better night’s sleep.
To avoid additional wear and tear on your joints, choose low-impact exercises such as water aerobics or swimming.
Many of the pains and difficulties that come with arthritis can be countered if you are conscientious about your daily routine. Don’t be ashamed to use adaptive aids like the railing as you walk down stairs or an electric can opener. Place items that you use on a daily basis in easily accessible locations. Install modifications to your home that you think will make moving easier such as a grab bar near the bathtub.
Staying smart includes knowing your limitations and setting reasonable goals when dealing with your mobility.