How to Relieve Arthritis Pain

December 9, 2013

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relieve arthritis pain The aches and pains associated with arthritis can take a toll on your quality of life. Treatment is focused on managing the symptoms, but you don’t have to rely on popping pills. You can relieve arthritis pain by making simple lifestyle changes.

Get out of your desk. The average American spends 55 percent of his or her day sedentary. That statistic isn’t too surprising considering many Americans have typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. desk jobs that require little movement. However, sitting at a desk all day makes your muscles and joints stiff, which can worsen the pain associated with arthritis. According to Arthritis Research, those with hip pain should avoid sitting in low chairs because it bends the hip, which can worsen the condition. Additionally, moving more throughout the day increases joint mobility, easing arthritis symptoms.

Exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can reduce pain and improve the quality of life for those living with many types of arthritis. A recent study published in BMJ found combining strength, flexibility, and aerobic exercises is likely to be most effective in managing arthritis in the knee and hip. The CDC says moderate physical activity is a safe and effective way to manage the disease. Exercise has a slew of health benefits, but it’s also a prevention method that can delay onset of arthritis.

Lose Weight. Carrying extra weight puts more pressure on your muscles and joints. Being just 10 pounds overweight increases the force put on the knee by 30 to 60 pounds with each step, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for arthritis, but packing on extra pounds not only increases your risk of developing the condition, you’re also more likely to develop it sooner. A Wake Forest University study found each pound of weight lost reduced the pressure put on the knee by 4 pounds. So, shedding those pesky 10 pounds puts 48,000 pounds less pressure on your knees per mile walked.

Get a massage. I have some good news if you need an excuse to splurge on a massage. Studies show massage can help reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis, including pain, stiffness, and mobility. Find a qualified therapist that has been certified through a national organization, such as the American Massage Therapy Association or National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Before booking an appointment, discuss with your physician whether massage would be an effective complement to your treatment plan. Once he or she gives you the green light, relax and enjoy!

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