Arthritis can cause pain and stiffness, which can interfere with your daily life. For those who suffer from arthritis, finding ways to ease the pain can make a significant difference. Renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brian Cable, sees patients nearly every day who suffer from debilitating effects of arthritis and have benefitted from shifts in lifestyle, behavior, and treatments to help relieve their discomfort and pain.
“Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects millions of people worldwide,” says Dr. Brian Cable. “It can have debilitating effects on their daily lives. The disease can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, making it difficult to perform simple tasks like walking or even holding a pen. Moreover, it can cause fatigue, depression, and anxiety, leading to social isolation and reduced quality of life.”
Arthritis can also lead to joint deformities, making it impossible to perform everyday activities, such as dressing, bathing, or cooking. In severe cases, arthritis can even affect the heart, lungs, and other organs, leading to serious health complications. Understanding how to gain relief and remain as active as possible is vital to pain management and comfort.
One of the best things you can do to ease arthritis pain is to stay active. While it may be difficult to exercise when you are in pain, regular physical activity can help to strengthen the muscles around your joints, reduce inflammation, and improve flexibility. It’s important to find a low-impact activity that you enjoy and can stick to. Walking, swimming, or cycling are all great options.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can put extra stress on joints, which can lead to increased arthritis pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can help to reduce stress on your joints. Dr. Cable recommends, “A healthy diet, regular exercise, and portion control can all help you maintain a healthy weight.”
Use Heat or Cold Therapy
Heat or cold therapy can help to ease arthritis pain. Heat can be particularly useful for loosening stiff joints, while cold therapy can help to reduce inflammation. Experiment with both heat and cold therapy to see what works best. Try taking a warm shower or bath or using a heating pad. For cold therapy, try using an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help to ease arthritis pain. In some cases, your doctor may recommend prescription medications, such as corticosteroids or biologics, to help manage your symptoms. It is important to talk to your doctor about your medication options and any potential side effects.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is essential for managing arthritis symptoms. When you are in pain, it can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Dr. Cable explains, “Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. You can try taking a warm bath or shower before bed. You might also try using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help you fall asleep.”
It’s essential to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Practice good self-care, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. You may also want to consider talking to a therapist or joining a support group to help you cope with the emotional toll of arthritis.
Arthritis pain can be challenging to manage, but there are things you can do to ease your symptoms. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, using heat or cold therapy, considering medications, getting enough rest, and practicing self-care can all help to ease arthritis pain. Dr. Brian Cable advises, “It’s important to work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you and your specific needs.”
Addressing arthritis symptoms is crucial for improving the quality of life for individuals living with this condition. Failure to manage arthritis can result in the condition worsening, leading to a decrease in mobility and chronic pain. Early treatment can help reduce inflammation and prevent joint damage, which can lead to deformities and disability. Proper medication, exercise, and physical therapy can also help maintain flexibility, improve strength, and reduce pain. Addressing arthritis symptoms also helps prevent other complications such as heart disease, depression, and anxiety. By addressing arthritis symptoms, individuals can maintain independence, participate in daily activities, and enjoy a higher quality of life.
About Dr. Brian Cable
Dr. Brian Cable, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon based in Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of the Association of Bone & Join Surgeons: Marshall R. Urist Resident Award in 1996 and holds a medical license in both Pennsylvania and California. Dr. Cable graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, Magna Cum Laude and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. He is committed to serving his patients in managing orthopedic conditions and creating the best possible quality of life for patients of every edge and lifestyle.