Self-Management Strategies for Managing Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that comes with age and is a leading cause of pain and disability. The good news is that there are strategies and activities to help you manage arthritis Eatonton and its symptoms. These simple strategies may help you find relief and pursue other activities. Besides helping you manage arthritis, some strategies can help you manage other chronic conditions like obesity and heart disease. They include:

Be active

Physical activity may be the last thing on the mind of someone in pain. However, being active reduces pain and stiffness and increases the range of motion. It is also a simple, effective, and drug-free way to improve the mood and quality of life of adults with arthritis. Other benefits of regular physical activity include better sleep, brain health, bone health, and sleep control. Beyond managing arthritis symptoms, physical activity can also reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. If you already have these conditions, exercise is an excellent way to manage them. Even a simple activity like walking is better than none; stay active as your health allows.

Talk to your doctor

You should talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. Doing so helps you get an accurate medical diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment early. Treating arthritis at its earliest stages helps minimize symptoms and disease progression. This is especially true for certain forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and gout.

Arthritis treatment focuses on reducing pain, lessening joint damage, and improving or maintaining function and life quality. Attending regular appointments with your healthcare provider and following your treatment is an active way to control arthritis. Keeping up with your doctor’s appointments is especially important if you have other chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Manage your weight

Losing extra weight and staying within your ideal weight is vital for individuals with arthritis. You exert additional pressure on joints when you are overweight, increasing symptoms like pain. But losing weight helps reduce the stress on weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. The good news is even losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can relieve your pain and improve physical function if you have arthritis. Regardless of your age, low-impact activities like walking combined with healthy dietary changes can help you lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

Protect your joints

If you have arthritis, you want to engage in easy activities on your joints. These may include riding a bike, walking, and swimming. Avoid high-impact activities that cause too much stress on the joints; this can worsen arthritis.

Injuries from vehicle accidents, work, or sports can also increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Therefore, minimize or prevent joint injuries to avoid worsening arthritis symptoms. These actions include avoiding repetitive motion and wearing seatbelts and protective equipment.

Joining a self-management education workshop can also help you learn skills to manage your condition and make informed decisions about your health.

If you have arthritis, consult your provider at Joint Regeneration of Lake Oconee to know how to cope with the condition.