Arthritis and other conditions often cause chronic pain that can impair the ability to enjoy life and engage in normal activities. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that involves the wearing away of bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments in the joints of the body. Individuals may experience pain, swelling, tenderness, and impairment of mobility. Other medical problems can also cause difficulty with movement and chronic pain. When these problems occur, you can take an active approach to management of your symptoms by implementing a few helpful tips.
– Keep Moving
Most arthritis experts agree that exercise and physical therapy can help individuals to manage arthritis pain and prevent the impairment of mobility that is often a feature of the condition. Try to keep moving with daily walks, tai chi classes, swimming or bicycling, which are low-impact activities that maintain flexibility and range of motion without worsening discomfort.
Even walking your dog around your neighborhood can help to keep supporting muscles strong and joints more flexible. Your physician may prescribe sessions with a physical therapist who can help you to learn exercises that are safe to do and will provide actions that help you to move more effectively.
– Heat and Cold Packs
Heat and cold packs can provide effective relief for arthritis and other types of musculoskeletal discomfort. However, when to use heat therapy and when to use cold therapy can be a confusing matter. Ice packs can be effective to reduce swelling and inflammation by constricting blood vessels in affected areas. Hot packs can help to relax muscles and improve blood flow when spasms occur.
You can find a variety of hot and cold pack products on the shelves of your local drug store. Some of these contain a gel that you can warm in the microwave or cool quickly in the freezer without the pack turning into a hard solid. But in a pinch, you can still use an old-fashioned heating pad or a frozen package of vegetables to provide immediate relief.
– Topical Medications
Individuals with arthritis and other painful conditions can use a variety of topical products that are available. Some of these gels, creams, and ointments are greaseless and odor-free, making it easy to use during a busy day. These compounds can also be used at night, to help you sleep more comfortably.
One type of topical product contains sodium channel blockers that work best for nerve pain conditions. Topical NSAIDS products increase anti-inflammatory proteins below the skin to provide relief. Other products may contain menthol that creates a warming sensation, which can help to relax muscles and provide a deep-heating feeling. You can try one or more of these, to see what works best for you.
– Do Daily Self-Care
If you take action to provide self-care on a daily basis, you will be less likely to experience more severe discomfort and problems with mobility from arthritis. Your self-care actions should include keeping your body warm against cold drafts, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and staying involved in hobbies, friends, and family to keep your mind occupied. Many individuals find that daily use of a hot tub helps to relieve arthritis pain and mobility problems. It’s important to do any hot tub repair necessary to continue your enjoyment.
Individuals with arthritis and other painful conditions often learn a variety of techniques to manage daily discomfort and mobility problems. They may use different methods at different times or stick with one technique that they know works well for their needs. However, it’s always a good idea to have a few back-up remedies on hand for difficult days. If you follow these 4 tips, you will be able to manage varying degrees of discomfort and continue doing the things you love throughout the day.