Since the beginning of time, people have been afflicted with that painful ailment known as Arthritis. Even the dinosaurs seemed to have suffered from it as well as the Egyptians as is evidenced from uncovered mummies. Right this minute there are approximately some forty million people suffering from Arthritis and in one short year, a million more will be added to that number. Here we take you through 17 things you can start doing immediately to help provide much needed and deserved relief from your arthritic pain.
17 Ways To Help Relieve Your Arthritis Pain
1. Drop A Few Pounds. While this seems to be the answer for curing every ailment known to man, the truth is, being overweight does cause complications in our lives. With Arthritis, the excess weight puts extra stress on your spinal column, knees, hips, ankles and feet which are already painful and inflamed, the excess stress not only brings more pain to these areas, it also contributes to further inflammation and increased pain.
2. Stretch Those Achy Joints. This is probably the last thing you wanted to hear but the truth is, gentle, correct stretching heals while not stretching your joints worsens the condition. Yoga is one way to learn proper stretching techniques that allows for proper movement and joint alignment which lengthens an strengthens the affected muscles. If you arenât in a position to join a class, books are always available and can be a great way for you to get started in the privacy of your own home.
3. Take Time To Relax. Stress relief seems to be another cure-all for everything medically wrong with us but, as with obesity, stress does take itâs toll on us physically as well as mentally. Tensing your muscles while already in pain generally causes more pain. Take a breath and practice some slow breathing techniques or other stress management techniques to help control the pain caused by Arthritis.
4. Before, treat Your Arthritis The Night. A large number of Arthritis sufferers are affected by morning flare-ups and stiffness. If you fall into this category, try rubbing some ointment in at night before going to bed.
5. Spend An Hour In A Floatation Tank. This may not be practical for you but depending on the severity of your Arthritis, you may want to make the extra effort to try this type of therapy. This technique takes #3 above to a new level through sensory deprivation which allows your body to relax into a much deeper state and this seems to release the bodies natural pain killers, your endorphins, further alleviating the pain. For more information on this, you can contact: The Floatation Tank Association, Los Angeles, CA.
6. Try Eucalyptus Oil & Heat. The next time you are having pain from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, apply a thick eucalyptus oil such as Eucalypta-Mint and wrap it in plastic wrap. Then apply heat with a moistened towel or soak in warm water.
7. Get In The swimming Pool. If you have access to a swimming pool, it can be a wonderful way to help stretch those painful joints. While doctors all seem to have different opinions on any number of various arthritis treatment techniques, they all agree that water therapy is excellent for you. You can pick up a book on âWaterciseâ or you can start with the basics such as walking in the pool, waving and bending motions. These âWatercisesâ are best performed in chest deep water.
8. Use Positive Reinforcement. You of course, answer in a negative manner bringing more attention to your pain and implanting the connection in your mind, if your spouse is constantly asking how you are doing when they know you are suffering. You spouse could acknowledge those times when you are pain free or in less pain than normal with something about how nice it is to see you doing better today. This calls your minds attention to the fact that you are feeling better and good for your overall emotional health as well because it is so easy to get caught up in all the pain you feel and focus only on that.
9. Treat Your Arthritis With Ice. Following a period where youâve been more active and caused a flare-up due to joint stress, ice it down with a cold pack or even a frozen package of peas, do this in 15 minute periods. 15 minutes of icing, 15 minutes with the ice pack off. Repeat as often as necessary to help reduce the pain.
10. Treat Your Arthritis With Heat. When your joints become hot and inflamed, you should apply heat packs, warm towels or soak in warm water rather than ice. Ice would be too contrasting and cause more pain in this situation.
11. Get Out And Take A Walk. Studies have shown that exercising can have a positive impact on your arthritis. Start with a nice leisurely walk if thatâs all you feel you can do at the work and time your way up to a more vigorous workout that gets your pulse rate up to at least 120 beats per minute. Some good options for exercise that donât have a hard impact on the joints include, brisk walking, riding a bicycle and swimming. Not only is this good for the joints but it also wonderful for you emotionally.
12. Stay Off The Drugs. There are so many addictive drugs which become so much a part of your life like painkillers, sleeping pills, tranquilizers etcâ¦ For most people the amounts need to continue to treat these problems have to be increased over and over to maintain the same level of effectiveness. Some doctors believe that these drugs should be replaced through biofeedback or other type of therapy and sometimes with over the counter pain relievers.
13. Eat More Fish. Not everybody will find relief from an increase in fish oil but some do. Fish oil is high in vitamins A and D which are important factors in bone growth and anti-inflammatory effects. These fish oils may also compete with other fatty acids which can themselves contribute to arthritic inflammation. After consulting with your doctor, take one teaspoon of cod liver oil per day to get a daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids and the vitamins A and D. Alternatively, you could try a low fat diet including fish such as salmon and mackerel which contain adequate levels of Omega-3 or some other over the counter dietary supplement.
14. Massage For Relief. Massaging the muscles which are attached to tendons leading to your arthritic joints may provide pain relief for the affected area. A compression technique is most effective and is performed by applying pressure for several seconds using your palm heel, elbow or thumbs then releasing. For hand pain, use this technique on your forearms from your wrist up to your elbow for hand pain and the front of your calves and leg for foot or ankle pain.
15. An Orange A Day Keeps The Arthritis Away. Studies now show that those affected by rheumatoid arthritis tend to have inadequate levals of Vitamin C. These studies show that strong doses of Vitamin C can actually cause regression while a lack of this vitamin can aggravate the symptoms. Your body can stand large amounts of vitamin C with the toxicity of this vitamin being practically zero. One doctor suggests 500mg spread out over the day is not an excessive amount and would give your body enough vitamin C to do some good. Talk to your doctor beforehand, so that you can be properly advised as to whether this is a practical solution for you.
16. Know What Foods To Avoid. Dr. Haas states that he has seen dramatic results from his patients suffering with rheumatoid arthritis when they simply avoid certain foods. The primary food groups that seem to contribute to this form of arthritic pain are foods from milk products and the nightshade family, foods such as tomatoes, eggplant, tobacco, peppers (except black pepper) and white potatoes.
By undergoing a little self testing, arthritis sufferers can develop their own personalized diet. Under the theory that you may be addicted to a food product, remove all forms of any food product that you have strong cravings for from your diet periodically. If your symptoms get worse over the next several days, this may be a sign that you are allergic to that food item. If that is the case, you should begin to feel better after about 6 days. You would then want to make an appt. with your doctor and discuss undergoing thorough allergy testing.
17. Decrease Your Use Of Vegetables Oils. While vegetable oils are generally good for the majority of people, arthritis suffers may be the exception. You donât necessarily have to cut vegetables out of your diet but do become more aware of other vegetable oil containing products like fried margarineâs, foods and salad dressings. High levels of Omega-6 fatty acids are present in these oils. Omega-6 has been shown to cause inflammation & subsequent aggravation in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. While you do want to keep your overall fat intake to approx 30% of your total caloric intake you may substitute the vegetable oils for canola and olive oil which contain much lower amounts of Omega-6 and may be used moderately. Details Take a look at General