Arthritis is one of the most common afflictions Americans face, affecting 1 in 5 people over the age of 18, and it is the leading cause of disability. Therefore, managing and treating arthritis pain is vital as pain will worsen and become debilitating if left untreated.
Lifestyle changes can be the most rewarding treatment options as they can alleviate pain and give you a sense of control. Like most diseases, diet and exercise are the two fundamental elements to controlling the severity of your symptoms.
While no specific arthritis diet exists, there are some general guidelines you can follow. The most important elements to add to your diet are omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and supplements are available for both. There are other foods that can help with inflammation such as nuts, beans, and olive oil (for a more extensive list, visit the arthritis foundation website).
If you are overweight, weight loss is essential in managing your pain, but gradual weight loss is best. Therefore, changing your diet by increasing anti-inflammatory foods and adding a light exercise regiment will help shed pounds slowly easing your suffering. Additionally, if you are a smoker, you will want to quit as smoking stresses your body’s connective tissue causing pain to increase.
Adding exercise to your daily life takes time and dedication and requires a physician consult. Arthritis suffers must use caution when exercising since some exercises will alleviate pain, while others will worsen it. If you are just starting to exercise, begin with some basic evening exercises like active stretching and range of motion movements. Exercising in the evenings should decrease your stiffness in the mornings. Additionally, if you have a sedentary job or you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, make sure you stand and walk around about every 30 minutes, adjust your sitting position often, tilt your neck, bend and stretch your legs, and change your hand position.
For those looking to add a little more activity to maximize pain management, low-impact aerobics and water exercises are best. You should avoid overdoing any activity as too much of even mild exercise can increase pain. Furthermore, avoid running, jumping, high-impact aerobics, and anything that includes repeating the same movements over and over such as tennis.
Additional lifestyle changes that help manage arthritis pain include getting proper sleep, educating yourself on arthritis, and decreasing stress. Assistive devices such as shoe inserts, canes, splints, and braces can also provide relief, but be sure to consult your physician first.
Arthritis suffers need a physician’s care for proper treatment and diagnosis. Dr. V. K. Puppala a specialist in pain management, offers in-office treatments to alleviate pain and will help guide you back to a pain-free lifestyle. Dedication to personal care and a commitment to the latest technology allows Dr. V. K. Puppala to offer the best pain management care for his patients and has awarded him a place as one of Atlanta’s top pain management doctors. Dr. V. K. Puppala is available to help you get your life back, so contact him and get started today.