Arthritis is a term that stands for over 100 different types of painful joint diseases. Characterized by the inflammation of joints, arthritis is found mostly in people aged 60 and above. Conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms of arthritis, and they affect a persons life like anything.
People struggling with these conditions generally take anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers to manage their pain. However, they can have a side effect on your body. Therefore, it’s better to find ways of managing arthritis pain in a natural way. But, before we discuss how to manage arthritis pain, let’s discuss a little bit more about osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Also known as wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis is linked to cartilage damage.
Cartilage is a protective tissue that’s found in joints and its primary function is to protect the bones. It works as a cushion that keeps the bones from rubbing against each other. A damaged cartilage leads to a lot of pain and discomfort that stem from the friction between the bones in a joint. A healthy cartilage works as shock-observer and plays an instrumental role in keeping the bones in good condition.
Commonly known as an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is charactered by the inflammation of synovial membrane. This condition occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the synovial membrane. What’s really unique about this condition is that it affects both sides of your body. For example, if you are having arthritis pain in the knee in your left leg, then you will experience similar pain in the knee in your right leg.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Arthritis
- Chronic pain in joints across your body
- Increased pain in weight-bearing joints such as knee and hip after performing an intense physical activity
- Joint stiffness and swelling that worsens in the absence of rest
- Reduced mobility
Arthritis Risk Factors
It’s very important for you to understand that some forms of arthritis run in families. For example, if your father, mother, or grandfather etc., were suffering from a form of arthritis, then it increases your chances of developing it too.
Age is one of the most important risk factors for arthritis. Conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the perfect example of how old age can make you vulnerable to these conditions. Apart from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the risk of gout also increases with age.
It is quite true that some types of joint diseases are more common in men than in women, and vice versa. For example, it is believed that women are more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis than men. However, when it comes to gout, men are more vulnerable to it than women.
Joint injuries also increase your risk of developing arthritis. And in case, you are already suffering from it, then an injury can make it worse.
Obesity is another very important risk factor for arthritis. Those extra pounds put a lot of stress on your weight-bearing joints, which eventually increases your risk of developing arthritis.
Treatment for Arthritis Pain
The pain that stems from arthritis can be reduced in various different ways such as, by taking anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers. However, as we have already discussed that these drugs can have severe side effects, it’s better to look for treatments that focus on strengthening the natural healing system of your body.
Therefore, you can rely on physical therapy, which is considered as one of the best ways of managing arthritis pain. If you take painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, they only focus on reducing the symptoms of arthritis. However, if you talk about physical therapy, it focuses on strengthening your entire body.
Your physical therapist uses a wide range of effective techniques to reduce the pain and to strengthen your joints. For example, they include a number of low-impact exercises to subside your pain and to enhance joint flexibility. In addition to that, they also use different types of manual therapy techniques to strengthen your joints and muscles around them.
The pain that stems from conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis can be easily managed with physical therapy.
Your physical therapist will try to restore your function by strengthening your joints and enhancing flexibility. In short, the kind of treatment that a physical therapist offers helps in improving joint balance as well as function.
According to Anatomix Physical Therapy, “Physical therapy is one of the most important treatments for arthritis and makes a significant impact in your joint health. While arthritis can slow you, it doesn’t have to. If you are suffering with arthritis, PT can change your life.“
Other Important Ways of Managing Arthritis Pain
Maintain A Healthy Weight
If in case you are overweight, then it’s important for you to shed those extra pounds to reduce the stress on your joints. Yes, overweight puts enormous pressure on your knees, hips and ankles, which start damaging them with a passage of time, if you fail to shed those extra pounds. Therefore, if know that you do not have a healthy weight, then it’s better to join a gym. In addition to that, you can also start your in-home workout routine.
Carry out a bit of research on the internet to figure out which are those exercises that can make you lose weight in a healthy manner.
Whenever you experience severe pain it’s always better to take proper rest to prevent it from enhancing. If you are someone who’s job demand a lot of physical activity, make sure you take a leave to give that much-needed rest to your body, in case you are struggling with joint pain.
Perform Stretching Exercises
Performing low-impact stretching exercises on a daily basis can prove very helpful for reducing joint pain. However, make sure that you avoid high-intensity exercises because that can ruin your condition further.
In addition to that, you should include a lot of healthy foods in your diet to strengthen your joints. Up the intake of fresh fruits (Fruits like oranges, berries, apples), veggies, and nuts.