Arthritis is much more than just the wear and tear or disease of an older person.
This is very common but not well understood. Arthritis is not an individual disease, it is an informal way of attributing to joint pain or joint disease. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, genders, and races can and do get arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. It has been researched that more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of arthritis. It is most common in women and occurs more customarily as people get older.
These two types of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
OA essentially occurs when the bones wear together due to the breakdown of cartilage, causing friction, damage, and tenderness.
RA is a systemic condition that prompts symptoms throughout the body. It is an immunological disease and occurs when the immune system unintendedly attacks healthy joint tissue.
Work with My Medadvisor to get a comprehensive approach that is specific to you.
Sleeping adequately is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people with RA. A 2018 study suggested that poor sleep quality affects pain levels and your ability to move.
Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, taking a nap in the afternoon can also help. If you are undergoing insomnia or if you think you may have dyspnea, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
People with chronic pain who have a social network reduce their pain and are less likely to report that the pain interrupts with their day-to-day activities. There are many ways to enlarge your social network—for example, you can join a book club, volunteer, or participate in a local support group for people with chronic pain. If leaving home poses challenges, consider joining an online group where people with your condition can share experiences and provide support.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. When practicing meditation, people try at their center of attention, on their feelings and what their body is experiencing presently.
Another 2020 research review indicated that mindfulness interventions can reduce pain intensity, depression, and other RA symptoms. Nevertheless, it noted that more research is needed.
Sitting in a position to practice mindfulness meditation can be painful for people with RA. Talk to your instructor about modifications so that you feel comfortable.
Turmeric root has great anti-inflammatory properties and many people add turmeric powder to sauces, smoothies, or teas. But curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, only makes up about 3% of it, so experts often advocate that people take curcumin supplements to get the effective amount.
For many people, a daily curcumin supplement of 200 mg to 1,000 mg is fine. However, check with your doctor before taking any supplement to make sure it won’t interact with your current medications or put you at risk for other health conditions. Simultaneously, keep an eye out for supplements that contain preservatives or other additives, such as gluten, dairy, and soy.
Protect Your Joints
Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints such as walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and don’t twist or put too much stress on the joints. Sports- or work-related joint injury can increase your chances of emerging osteoarthritis. To reduce the chance of developing or worsening osteoarthritis, take steps to reduce or prevent joint injuries, such as wearing protective equipment and avoiding joint damage from repetitive motion.
Identify the Foods That are Good and Bad For You
Fatty acids such as omega-3 have been shown to reduce inflammation in the joints. Ruth Frenchman, RDN, spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, says the omega-3s in cold-water fish such as herring, mackerel, trout, salmon, and tuna are “the most promising” anti-inflammatory. But not all fatty acids are good for you. In contrast, the Arthritis Foundation states that omega-6 fatty acids found in snacks and fried foods as well as in corn, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils increase the risk of inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation supports adding fiber and increasing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet to reduce blood levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation.
Many people with arthritis want to treat their joint pain without the expense and potential side effects of drugs. Still, a healthy diet, stress management, regular exercise, and other treatments can help improve your quality of life. There are many natural ways to reduce pain and improve daily life. Try one or a combination of the above methods and see what works for you.