Arthritis pain can be almost excruciating at times. At others, it simply burns slowly in the background; a constant reminder of the problem. If you struggle with joint problems, you’re not alone by any means. There are now around 50 million people in America struggling with arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Should you be one of them, managing your pain levels is essential to your quality of life and how you feel on a daily basis. Of course, there are many forms of physiotherapy and medication you can rely on to help you ease the pain. However, there are also alternative, holistic ways in which you can reduce the discomfort that this condition causes. Here are some tips that you may well want to try for yourself:
Try some meditation
If you’ve never embarked on a journey into the world of meditation, now may be the time to do so. As director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Tanya Edwards, MD explains to the Arthritis Foundation, meditating leads to stress reduction which means that your joints will be less inflamed. It is actually the inflammation of the joints that causes your ongoing pain.
Learning to meditate is perhaps the most difficult part of this technique as it can take a while to master this art. It may be worth taking a class on it so that you can hone your skills. Failing that, there are many free apps that will take you through a step-by-step guide to help you focus your mind and start meditating.
Eat well on a daily basis
Often enough, people work under the assumption that their diet and arthritis have nothing to do with each other. That’s not the case. As Arthritis Research UK notes, being overweight can put extra strain on your joints. Hence, if you’re carrying an excess of weight, you should do all you can to shed some pounds sooner rather than later.
A combination of mild exercise and healthy eating is likely to be the best form of attack here. Eating a balanced diet, which includes fruit, vegetables, and fiber will mean that you get all the nutrients that you need from your meals. You may also wish to use portion control techniques to ensure that you’re not overeating. Calorie-counting may be dull, but it could well help you reduce your daily pain.
Take the pain out of dressing
Each morning, when you rise and shine to dress, you may find that there’s one little problem. From buttoning your shirts to tying your shoelaces, there’s a whole host of chores that may cause you extra discomfort. While you may not want a family member to help you dress, there could be another way to solve this problem.
The key to managing your pain is understanding that you don’t have to suffer when it comes to these tasks. Instead, invest in versatile dressing aids, such as a shoe horn or button hook, that will help you. What’s more, using these gadgets means that you can maintain your independence without it causing you any more pain.
Have a warm soothing bath
You should never underestimate the power of a long soak in a warm bath. Over the years, numerous studies have found that warm water therapy works for an array of different musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis. There are many ways in which a bath can help from improving your circulation to allowing some gentle stretching. Since you get 360-degree support from the water, you will no longer need to put any pressure on your joints either, which can also help to reduce pain.
When it comes to running your bath, you should keep an eye on the temperature of the water. Make sure that the bath is warm but never hot. According to guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, anything over 104 degrees is considered dangerous for people. Keep that in mind and mix both hot and cold water to create a comfortable level of heat for yourself.
Move to a warmer climate
Just as warm water therapy works to ease the pain, you may equally find that living in a warmer climate does the same job. Winters can be particularly difficult for arthritis sufferers. Should you live in a place that’s a little hotter, you will find that is no longer an issue. While moving is not an option for everyone who has this condition, if it is for you, it’s worth giving it some real consideration!