Great Tips for Living Better with Arthritis

February 9, 2021

Individuals who are living with arthritis understand just how much it can take to get through the pain and stiffness associated with their condition and go about their day. Even the simplest movements they may have previously done without much thought can become incredibly uncomfortable and difficult when arthritis is at play. At times things can feel like they take more energy than what they are worth. When an individual's body forces them to pay increased attention to it, such as with arthritis, it is important to provide good care in order to combat pain and improve function. Learn about the most effective ways to live better when dealing with arthritis now.

Use Labor-Saving Items

We are in luck that we live in an age where we have access to a great number of various forms of labor saving items and technology. Items that can help with household chores and cooking could be a lifesaver for those individuals who are suffering from arthritis.Automatic shower cleaners, vacuuming robots, and power can openers or jar openers could provide added relief throughout a day. The list of available devices to help save labor and relieve some pain linked to arthritis is only limited by the individual's imagination.

Now that you know to use some more labor-saving items, continue reading to learn another way to manage arthritis.

Ask For Help

At times the most difficult step in getting help of any kind, including when dealing with a chronic condition like arthritis, is to ask for it. Individuals who have arthritis must find the fine balance called interdependence, where they are not completely dependent on others but also not living in isolation. Friends and family are hopefully there to support and to assist those with arthritis when the need arises but should also respect the individual's privacy and solitude when needed. Arthritis patients should always remember to not be afraid and to ask for help when it's needed.

There are also plenty of arthritis support groups out there that can help match individuals struggling with arthritis to the resources they need to function better.

Test Your Limits

Arthritis typically advances with time, so it is important for patients to discover what joints and muscles they can rely on as an aid or even a replacement for using others in their body when the time comes. They can discover ways to protect poor joints by using other body movements, such as instead of pushing open a door with their hands, protect them by using a shoulder or forearm. Of course, it is important to use joints, in safe ways of course, for as long as it is possible to help stave off stiffness and maintain their function. Thus, testing the limits of one's joints can be helpful when managing arthritis. Just remember: be safe!

Keep reading to find out the next amazing way to manage your arthritis.

Adapt And Plan To Simplify Life

Sometimes, planning and making simple adaptations to simply life is enough to greatly assist an individual in dealing with arthritis. For instance, an arthritis patient who finds it quite tiresome and troubling to constantly walk up and down stairs may want to purchase duplicates of items they use a lot and keep one on each floor of their home to reduce the number of times they have to use the stairs. They can also add other devices and objects throughout the home to make things easier, and have someone do renovations to help, such as adjusting their bathroom to include grab bars and a walk-in shower with a seat. It can also be beneficial for individuals with arthritis to organize areas they typically sit and works, such as by adding a stash of bookmarks, batteries, or pens to their favorite sitting area.

Next, find out why warm water is so beneficial to individuals affected by arthritis.

Believe In Warm Water

Warm water has been shown to ease pain due to many causes, including arthritis, and these effects happen to be able to last for quite some time after an individual gets out of the water. Individuals with arthritis looking to take advantage can have a bath, shower, or even apply a warm and damp compress. The key to this, however, is to ensure it is always warm water rather than hot, since hot water can not only dry out the skin, but also burn the skin, causing additional problems. Those in the bath or shower may also want to try some light stretches to help get their blood flowing, thus hastening the reduction in joint pain and stiffness.

Jump into a nice warm bath or pool to ease arthritis pain. But first, keep reading to find out why a healthy diet is so important.

Your Food Is Your Fuel

While everyone should maintain a healthy diet, it is even more important for an individual with arthritis to pay attention to the foods they choose to eat every day. Some foods can be of great benefit to their condition, while others can be a detriment. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acids can help with joint stiffness associated with arthritis, while foods with higher amounts of sodium can push an individual's health in the wrong direction. Some of the best foods for individuals affected by arthritis to eat include fatty fish like salmon, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turmeric, and foods rich in vitamin C. Of course, each patient may have different specific needs for their arthritis and any other concerns and allergies they may have, so it is important for individuals to discuss developing the right diet with their primary doctor or a registered dietitian.

Read more about tips for living with arthritis better now.

Keep Moving

Whether an individual with arthritis is trying to get some housework done or they are working on a hobby of theirs, it is far better for them to keep their body moving than to let themselves stay still. Joint stiffness will only get worse and do so quicker if the individual with arthritis does not make it a point to continue using them as much as it is possible and safe to do so. With this in mind, however, it is also in the arthritis patient's best interest to spread out work rather than completing it all in one day. Doing so will help them deal with the consequences of strain and overuse. Thus. they should set a time limit on how long they are going to be active with breaks and mild stretching between each active time.

Remember to keep a positive outlook and continue progressing until what was impossible yesterday is now possible.

Play Some Pickleball

Individuals who want to live better with their arthritis may be advised to play some pickleball, which is a sport that combines parts of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. A net similar to badminton is used on the pickleball court. Pickleball is a very low impact sport that promotes healthy activity. These characteristics help make it quite beneficial to individuals with arthritis, who often have pain that radiates from their elbows to their wrists and hands. The shape and size of the racquet used in pickleball are helpful to alleviate this pain. Issues many arthritis patients struggle with are mobility and range of motion. Pickleball enhances mobility while promoting quick reflexes, which can also be affected by arthritis. Individuals with arthritis also tend to become sedentary and do not get to participate in a cardiovascular workout to help with maintaining a healthy heart. Pickleball provides excellent cardiovascular exercise. The court used in pickleball is not as large as the one used in tennis, so players do not have to run nearly as much and risk becoming injured.

Read more about managing life with arthritis now.

Keep Ice Packs And Heating Pads On Hand

Individuals can live better with their arthritis when they are sure to keep ice packs and heating pads on hand. Hot and cold therapy is useful for arthritis because it enhances the body's own function of healing itself. Heat is great for stimulating blood circulation, dilating the blood vessels, and decreasing muscle spasms. Heat is best for joints that have become painfully stiff and hard to move. Heating pads can either be dry heat or moist heat.

Cold compresses are excellent for inflamed joints. When the affected area is red and painful, ice pack compresses have a freezing effect on the nerves. The effect numbs them and stops the pain signals from exiting and transmitting to the brain. The cold temperatures help with constriction of the blood vessels that flow into the muscles. When the blood vessels are not dilated, less blood is flowing to the joint during flare-ups when inflammatory immune system components are trying to invade it. This mechanism helps prevent further swelling and improves range of motion.

Get the details on how a massage can help individuals with arthritis now.

Go For A Massage

Individuals who have arthritis may be advised to go for a massage to help relieve debilitating symptoms. Massage, by definition, is a term that encompasses any type of manipulation of the connective tissues, skin, and muscles by either mechanical tools or the hands of a certified therapist. There are numerous methods and types of massages that can help individuals with arthritis. A Swedish massage is known for helping with joint and muscle stiffness by long stroking of the tissues and muscles. Deep tissue massages are intended to help with intense pain and tension in the interior-most connective tissues and muscles. Myofascial release is a massage technique designed to help with pain relief by fascia manipulation. The fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. Trigger point massage is a method of massage therapy that utilizes the myofascial trigger points, which are located within the muscles that snots form. Pressure or vibration is applied to these points, sometimes with the addition of injections. This type of massage is intended to help with muscle tension and pain relief in and around the joints.

Learn more about managing life with arthritis now.

Try Some Yoga

Individuals who are trying to live better with their arthritis are encouraged to try some yoga. Yoga is an umbrella term for a group of breathing techniques, meditation, and exercises that can boost mental and physical health. Arthritis is not only associated with physical pain and symptoms, but psychological symptoms as well. These symptoms include anxiety, depression, problems with falling or staying asleep, excessive stress, and lack of general motivation. Yoga has a meditation and relaxation component that has proven to help individuals who suffer from sleep problems, anxiety, and stress. Another common area many arthritis patients need assistance in is joint and muscle flexibility. The pain and swelling arthritis cause results in decreased mobility and loss of muscle function due to the chronic pain associated with it. However, yoga provides an easy and relaxing way to stretch and work out the muscles around the affected joints to help maintain proper levels of flexibility. Yoga is also an effective way to help rebuild and strengthen muscles affected by muscle tone loss and weakness due to arthritis.

Uncover more on living better with arthritis now.

Use Assistive Devices

Arthritis patients who have trouble with day to day activities and functions are encouraged to use assistive devices. There are various devices that can be used in the home to help make everyday tasks more efficient. Such devices provide leverage to the joints when needed, keep joints in the most optimal position for their function, and improve an individual's range of motion. To help with getting dressed, devices such as buttoning aids and zipper pulls can make putting on clothing less of a burden. Kitchen appliances that may help make tasks easier for arthritis patients include slicing mandolins, electric can openers, food processors, and easy grip utensils. Additional security and stability can be accomplished with the use of handrails and tub bars for getting in and out of the shower or tub. Tap turners and faucet levers are helpful when an individual does not have a firm enough grip due to arthritis. An individual can sit down and get up from the toilet more effectively with the use of a raised toilet seat. There are even assistive devices available to help with automobile driving functions. It is easier to turn on the ignition with a key holder, and filling the gas tank is easier with the use of a gas cap opener.

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