Have you been diagnosed with arthritis? It is one of those diseases that can alter the course of your life entirely. Arthritis, when left untreated, can cause debilitating pain and, eventually, disability.
Arthritis is quite a common condition that has affected an estimated 40 million Americans. When you get the news that you have arthritis, it means that you have chronic pain that makes living an active life a daunting task.
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most prevalent types of arthritis, even though there are over 100 types.
When you have arthritis, you will experience joint stiffness, pain, and swelling; life as you know it will change forever. However, with proper arthritis treatment coupled with habits that you can follow, the quality of your life can improve drastically.
This sounds exciting, right? Yes, it does. But when it comes down to the wire, fatigue, pain, brain fog, and emotional fatigue is the order the day. In reality, starting and maintaining these habits is no easy task, and it is easier said than done.
On a good day, you can pull almost anything off, but nothing seems to work when those bad days hit.
Look at these steps as a journey and not a magical solution. Expert advice from our doctor in Germantown is simple; take small steps.
These science-backed habits will help you start small and also keep you going on those bad days.
This is one of those things that sound counter-intuitive, especially when you are in pain. However, studies show that activity will help strengthen your muscles and boost your energy.
Your muscles support and protect your joints. Even though this is true, please do not overdo it. If, for example, running half a mile is good, then you reason running a mile will be better; think again! With arthritis, you want to moderate the pain, not increase joint injury and increase your pain.
Both aerobic and moderate resistance exercises are allowed. You can also try walking and any other activity such as raking leaves that helps you move around.
Whatever you do, avoid lounging for this won’t do your joints any good. Getting started with an exercise plan may seem like an uphill task, but you can begin with water-based activities if you are near a pool.
Being overweight or obese is counterproductive. Your knees are the ones that bear the extra weight, so they will respond to that weight by aching.
The extra weight means that your joints will experience more wear and tear, which is common in osteoarthritis. Losing some weight can be a massive pain reliever.
Nature has tucked away essential nutrients in food that you easily pass at the grocery store that can ease arthritis symptoms. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin D can help relieve pain and nourish the bones.
We advocate that you focus on eating healthy, rather than looking for specific nutrients. It is better to switch to eating a healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of:
Sodas and other sugary foods are not your friends. Sugar increases inflammation in your body. Other than that, sugar gives you empty calories and aids in weight gain.
In those good days, when you wake up feeling energetic and can tackle anything, do not forget that muscle weakness and fatigue will show up sooner than you think. When your energy levels are high, focus on the things you really need to do.
Do not overpack your day to avoid burning out.
If you are always under stress and overwhelmed, the pain might actually feel worse than what it actually is. This can even stop you from doing what is necessary, like taking your arthritis medication or exercising.
Learn to manage your stress in healthy ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the condition. Meditate, call a friend, journal, just do something that will help you relax. It would be best if you also tried to have a positive outlook.
It is always wise to seek support. You will be shocked by the amount of support you will get. You can call Dr. Lakhvinder Wadhwa, at Germantown Primary Healthcare, if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment.